CSIR to receive biodegradation laboratory equipment from UNIDO to tackle leakage of plastic waste into environment
On Tuesday, 23 August 2022, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, and the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, will officiate at the handover of biodegradation assessment laboratory equipment to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria.
The laboratory equipment is part of a three-year project funded by the government of Japan, through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to combat marine plastic litter in South Africa. This follows a bilateral meeting, which was held between the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, and the late Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe, on 29 June 2019, prior to the G20 Osaka Summit. During that meeting, the Japanese Prime Minister committed Japan to making funds available to assist South Africa to address the leakage of plastic waste into the environment, especially the marine environment.
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, His Excellency Mr Norio Maruyama, senior members of UNIDO, and the CSIR CEO, Dr Thulani Dlamini.
Source: Government of South Africa