Bringing To Plastic

Solving 7 are dedicated to creating solutions for
some of the 21st Century's most compelling problems.

"Not all plastics are created equal. Whilst some are reusable and easily recyclable, others require sophisticated, expensive and intricate recycling technologies in order to be safely processed. Sadly, some are currently not recycled at all. "

-Nabila Wissanji

The “chasing arrows” symbol we see on plastic containers and products does not necessarily mean the product is recyclable. Most products made from the numbers 1-6 have commercial recycling solutions. However, number 7 is a different story.

Lack of Recycling for #7 Plastic

The lack of recycling solutions for #7 plastic  poses a huge challenge to all stakeholders, including producers, consumers and policymakers in the war on plastic. Over 99% of it ends up as litter or in landfills. Incineration isn’t an option as it simply creates toxins that pollute the environment.

Examples of #7 plastic packaging includes but is not limited to:

  • Snack packaging such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, dried fruit, nuts, chocolates and sweet wrappers.
  • Food packaging such as rice, pasta and breakfast cereals.
  • Household washing powders and detergents.

#7 Plastic Pollution

Despite all the efforts being made to clean the ocean, prevent plastic incineration and prevent litter in landfalls and ecosystems, there has been no recycling program available to deal with the mass of plastic that is recovered. In South Africa alone, over 95 million tons of plastic waste is produced every year.

Flexible Film Packaging

Flexible film packaging stamped with a #7 is often made up of layers of different types of polymer.

Purpose of #7 Plastic

This type of multi layer packaging was specifically developed to extend the shelf-life of products.

Problem of #7 Plastic

However, there is currently no viable replacement or commercial recycling solution for #7 packaging.

The 'State of Plastic' in Africa

Our Solving 7 mission and purpose is to facilitate the collection of #7 Multi Layer Flexible Film Packaging, and process this into sustainable end-use products for under-resourced communities across Africa.

95 Million tons of waste

Across South Africa, 95 million tons of waste is disposed of annually.

Separation at source

South Africa has yet to implement a national separation at source programme.

Informal jobs

An estimated 90,000 pickers earn a livelihood from the recovery of recyclables from waste.

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Sea Birds Die Every Year

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Marine Animals Die Every Year

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Tons of Plastic Produced Each Year

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Tons of Plastic Dumped into Oceans Each Year

SA National Waste Management Strategy

3 Strategic pillars

Waste Minimisation; Effective & Sustainable Waste Services; and Compliance, Enforcement & Awareness

Strategy Driver

Need to reduce the rate of plastic waste load into the environment and, also to address existing pollution

Primary Waste Strategy

In general recycling is the preferred waste management practice, especially in circular economy format.

State of Recycling in South Africa

Plastic has lowest rate of recycling at 43%, associated with significant environment impacts.

Impediments to Progress

A lack of end markets for certain recyclables, as well as a limited number of processors are a major obstacle for separation at source

The Opportunities

Scope for different models and tools to be developed to engage the informal waste sector.

With deep gratitude to the following sponsors and partners, we are able to convert #7 plastic into desks.

Extended Producer Responsibility

EPR Overview

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) will involve producers taking physical and/or financial responsibility for priority products post consumption.

Primary Objective

Objective of the EPR schemes is to prevent targeted products and materials from being disposed off as waste, through increasing Re-use, Recycling & Recovery rates.

Expected Outcomes

Ensure atleast 40% of waste diverted from landfill within 5 years; 55% within 10 years; and at least 70% within 15 years, leading to Zero-Waste going to landfill.

Creating Opportunity

Waste Reduction & Recycling targets to be set in Industry Waste Management Plans in priority industries, of which plastics is a main one.

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Connect With Us

How can you help? 

  1. Contribute a grant and become a founding member of some exciting initiatives.
  2. Directly sponsor Green Desks. Every $100 donation secures a desk for 2 children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. Co-sponsorship initiatives and opportunities.
  4. Sponsor logistical elements of getting desks to kids.
  5. Let us know if you’d like to be a part of the program.

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Fourways, Johannesburg