Assessing Plastic Circular Economy Policies and the Use of Digital Technology in Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The few countries in Africa that have plastic waste reduction policies in place have promulgated mostly outright bans, i.e., punitive legislation. However, evidence of their effectiveness in curbing plastic waste pollution or in redirecting the continent towards a circular plastic economy remains under-researched. We assess plastic waste policies in Africa using Chatham Database and the DITCh Plastic Survey data, combined with one national case study (Nigeria). We utilise machine learning for text analysis of policy description. We find the continent’s efforts ineffective at directing the continent towards a circular economy due to shallow regulations, exclusion of the informal recycling sector, enforcement problems and lack of awareness of policies, amongst others. We present some broad propositions on how digital and technological tools can be used to redirect the continent from linear to circular economy and how they can also aid in plastic waste policy effectiveness. This chapter is relevant to policy making in three ways. Firstly, it shows how plastic-oriented policies are not circular in nature in Africa. Secondly, it posits that under current ineffective plastic waste policies in Africa, digital technology is an instrument that can be used to achieve a plastic circular economy. Thirdly, the realisation of the first makes a call for an innovation policy agenda (strategic direction such as digital interoperability) if Africa is to scale plastic circular economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Innovations for a Circular Plastic Economy in Africa
EditorsMuyiwa Oyinlola, Oluwaseun Kolade
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003278443
ISBN (Print)9781032244105, 9781032244099
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Open access CC-BY-NC-ND


  • Plastic
  • Circular Economy
  • Digital Technology
  • Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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