The introductory workshop for the Interns for Sustainability exchange programme was held on 26-28 January 2021. Due to COVID-19, the three-day programme took place virtually with selected speakers presenting in the morning session to provide different perspectives on plastic waste in South Africa and Norway.
Dr Tony Ribbink, the CEO of Sustainable Seas Trust, set the scene between South Africa and Norway, exploring the partnership and the networking opportunities available as well as the types of projects conducted in the African Marine Waste Network. View the presentation here.
Douw Steyn, the Sustainability Director at Plastics SA, provided the South African perspective on plastics and sustainability, discussing the recycling rate, EPR, and the plastics strategy going forward. View the presentation here.
As the final presentation of the day, Lars Brede Johansen, an analyst at the Norwegian Retailers Environment Fund, offered the Norwegian perspective on plastic statistics including use and end of life break-downs. View the presentation here.
Starting the second day of the workshop, Helene Øyangen Lindberg, Project Manager of R&D and Norwegian Plastic Recycling, discussed capitalising on plastic waste in Norway, offering a perspective from two Norwegian companies involved in the full value chain of plastic. View the presentation here.
Following Helene’s presentation, Plastics Consultation and Founder of Plastix 911, Annabe Pretorius discussed the plastics value chain with a focus on the South African context. Annabe’s experience in the plastics industry provides a detailed look at the recycling industry in South Africa. View the presentation here.
On the final day of the workshop, Helge Brattebø addressed sustainability concepts in relation to plastic waste from his experience as a professor at NTNU. He outlined the various routes that a plastic item can take after its use and explores the room for more sustainable options. View the presentation here.
The final presentation of the introductory workshop was presented by Luyanda Hlatshwayo, who offered a unique perspective on the value of waste from a reclaimers context. As a reclaimer himself, Luyanda discussed the ins and outs of reclaiming and some of the challenges faced by reclaimers who divert recyclable materials from landfill, prolonging their lifespan. View the presentation here.
These morning presentations were followed up by individual team meetings in the afternoons. The workshop was a resounding success with engagement from participants and presenters during Q&A sessions as well as group feedback.
Watch all seven recorded presentations below: