25. Aug 2022
Earlier this week, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, and the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, will officiate the hand-over of the biodegradation assessment laboratory equipment to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria (South Africa).
The laboratory equipment forms part of a three-year project funded by the government of Japan, through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to combat the marine plastic litter issue in South Africa. This follows a bilateral meeting, which was held between the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the late Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, on 29 June 2019, prior to the G20 Osaka Summit. During that meeting, the Prime Minister committed that Japan would make funds available to assist South Africa in addressing the leakage of plastic waste into the environment, especially in the marine.
The laboratory equipment, which will be handed over by UNIDO to the CSIR, includes a respirometer, an automated titration system and an elemental analyser. This will enable the CSIR, through their Biodegradation Facility, to test and verify biodegradation claims of alternative materials, including compostable plastics, as viable alternatives for problematic products.
The event will be attended by a high-level delegation, which will consist of the Ambassador of Japan, Norio Maruyama, senior members from UNIDO, as well as the CSIR CEO, Thulani Dlamini. AT