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The Prevented Ocean Plastic programme extends into Africa

By November 3, 2022February 7th, 20245 Comments

The next step in the growth of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ programme has been announced.

This week, Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa launched. New infrastructure developed in two areas in East Africa- including the Swahili Coast and where the Nile meets the Mediterranean- will save up to 5,000 tonnes of plastic a year from entering the ocean through pollution. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa will be a partnership with leading manufacturer, Bariq, to create fully traceable, certified, quality recycled plastic. Using a proven model, underpinned with rigorous standards, the expansion of the programme into Africa will mean the global programme will accelerate to stop over a billion bottles – enough to fill one of Egypt’s great pyramids – from entering the world’s oceans in the next 18 months.

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa is a commercial partnership between Bantam Materials UK Ltd., Bariq, and infrastructure experts supporting the region. The programme will build infrastructure to collect plastic from areas with little or no current recycling, for expert, food-safe processing in North Africa.

Ahmed Nabil, Chief Commercial & Sustainability Officer at Bariq said, “We already diverted 15 billion bottles and we are ready to support any initiative that we see extending our impact to other regions. We hope that Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa will have a good impact and will achieve the target. We have already recycled 15 billion bottles and we have a target of recycling 50 billion bottles by 2030. Year over year, we wanted to have more plastic diversion from ocean within our recycling mix. We are pleased to be working with Bantam Materials to create Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa. This will help to protect coastal regions and the Mediterranean Sea from plastic pollution. We’re looking forward to being able to scale up the programme and show what’s possible while holding the work to the highest of standards.”

The programme officially launched in Cairo, where COP27 will soon begin, as some of the world’s best recyclers came together to ratify and sign up to Prevented Ocean Plastic’s new Standards.

The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Standards will underpin all the work of the new African programme. The programme is already successfully operating in South East Asia (supported by USAID), Latin America, and the Mediterranean region using the same model that was used the test these new Standards. They will set the rules, guidelines and characteristics for organisations participating in the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa programme and have been agreed to by some of the best recyclers globally.

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa will divert at least 5,000 tonnes of plastic in its first 18 months from entering the ocean, with the aim of scaling to stop 10,000 tonnes at its maturity. This will contribute to the global programme being able to stop one billion bottles in just 18 months, just half the time it took to stop its first billion. That will be enough bottles, when piled up, to match the size of a great pyramid. It will also create work and boost local economies. The programme will provide fair paid work for collectors and employees in the recycling centres. Worker conditions and pay are monitored as part of the new standards.

Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials UK Ltd., said, “We’re proud to be able to launch this transformative programme in Africa. As we begin COP27, and with G20 nearly upon us, we’re urging the sector, regulators and officials to come and meet with us to learn more about what’s possible. We don’t need to sacrifice sustainability to create fair paid work and produce quality alternatives to virgin plastic. We have a proven model that can be expanded at scale. Together, with relatively small investment, we can use the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ model to scale up the production of our award-winning product all while creating more jobs and stimulating local communities.”

Construction for the infrastructure of the Africa programme is already underway, with material set to join the supply chain in Q1 of 2023. It will create high-quality and fully traceable plastic for brands in Europe and North America, including Lidl and Sainsburys.

Prevented Ocean Plastic is a pioneering plastic recycling company developing locally customized sorting and collection infrastructure to underserved communities across the world. We are committed to strengthening the supply chain and scaling solutions for the management of plastic waste in the country. We provide high quality traceable recycled plastic to global markets to drive environmental, social and economic value from the bottle collector to the end consumer.