DITCh Plastic Network Launches New Project to Tackle Plastic Pollution

DITCh Plastic Network

May 14, 2020. Lagos, Nigeria DITCh Plastic Network will today launch a new project to drive engagement and develop a framework for transitioning to a Circular Plastic Economy (CPE) in Africa.

DITCh Plastic is a Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded project that aims to characterise, cluster, synergise and optimise digital innovations that would support and accelerate a transition to a Circular Plastic Economy in Africa.

By combining its extensive existing networks and infrastructure, the team will work at the community level to create public engagement for knowledge exchange and capacity building in sustainably managing plastic waste and pollution.  To facilitate and foster collaboration, as well as synergy and knowledge exchange, the project will integrate digital tools that will bring together existing websites, apps and innovative processes that have been designed specifically for plastic reduction, recycling and reuse in different environments.

The project led by De Montfort University in the UK will bring together Africaโ€™s leading technology hubs (Co-Creation hub Lagos,  iHub Nairobi and BongoHive Lusaka), top UK Universities (University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, and Aston University), leading African Universities  (University of Lagos, Kigali Collaborative Research Centre and University of Namibia) and third sector organisations such as (Chatham House and Plastic Oceans).

Commenting on the project launch, Dr Muyiwa Oyinlola, Associate Professor in Engineering for Sustainable Development at De Montfort University says, โ€œI am extremely honoured to be leading this multisectoral network which brings together some of Africaโ€™s leading Innovation and Technology firms as well as extremely talented researchers/professionals. I am positive that together, we will make a significant contribution to tackling the plastic waste challenge in Africaโ€.

Dr Patrick Schroeder, Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, speaking on behalf of Chatham House, a world-leading policy institute, whose mission is to help government and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world commented, โ€œWe are excited to be part of this project to reduce plastic pollution in Africa through digital innovations – a key enabler for an inclusive circular plastics economy.โ€

โ€œThis is an exciting moment for the University of Namibia and Namibia as a whole to be part of this global project to find innovative means to address the menace of plastic waste in our environment.  This project is timely to contribute to the country’s efforts!โ€ says Dr Selma Lendelvo, Senior Researcher and Head of the Life Sciences Division of the Multidisciplinary Research Centre, University of Namibia.

CcHUB, iHub and BongoHive will harness its pan-African network to provide support through the application of Human-Centered Design (HCD) and technology to build capacity that will contribute to accelerating the growth of circular plastic economy across Africa through digital innovation.

For further information on the DITCh Plastic Network and related activities, visit, https://ditch-plastic.org/