Strategy for Marine Waste: Guide to Best Practice for Africa

“Bringing together and growing a network of researchers, educators, industry, media, and governments to meet the pollution challenges facing Africa.”

No time to waste

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Photographs by Dave Scott Caelum Technologies on behalf of SST


Join us in expanding a network to collaborate on developing an effective Marine Waste Strategy for Africa. Our aim is to facilitate a guide to best practice for waste management and harnessing a circular economy approach. With your help in creating this strategy, African nations can benefit from improved resource efficiency, job creation and economic development while helping safeguard their diverse and rich environment.

As waste knows no boundaries, this conference aims to draw together participants from all African coastal and island states. Our hope is that conference delegates with a multitude of backgrounds and expertise will work collaboratively to find shared strategies to solve problems within countries and across borders.

Conference Topics

  • Research
  • Policies and practices
  • Education and awareness
  • Conservation
  • Data, GIS and mapping
  • Plastics and litter
  • Oil, aerial and chemical pollution
  • Socioeconomic impacts
  • Circular economy and blue economy
  • Role of businesses
  • Special challenges of municipalities
  • Recycling and upcycling
  • Exciting innovations



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Sylvia Earle the renowned American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer will be speaking at the African Marine Waster Conference. She has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998.

“People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth’s life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth’s water is there. It’s the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart. It’s what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won’t get better unless we take the action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something.”
Sylvia A. Earle


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Mandlakazi Skefile is the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism who has held financial and administration positions in the private sector that include Leoni South Africa, PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants and Sizwe Medical Services.


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Kristian Teleki is currently the Senior Marine Adviser to the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and the Director of Engagement for Ocean Unite. Kristian was most recently the Director of Global Engagement for the Global Ocean Commission.  Prior to this he was Vice President of SeaWeb, responsible for its sustainable markets, science, and Asia Pacific programmes. He has also been the Director of the International Coral Reef Action Network and has led the Marine Programme at UNEP-WCMC. Kristian is on the boards of several environmental, development and social initiatives, and the Editorial Board of Aquatic Conservation. He has degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Cambridge University.

Aupaki Michael Melato

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Born and raised in Africa, from Kgotsong (Bothaville) in South Africa. Aupaki Michael Melato a Ph.D candidate with ten years of experience in environmental affairs holds a Masters Degree in the field of ecotoxicology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He is currently employed as Environmental Specialist at Transnet National Ports Authority in Cape Town.

Melato has served as a member of many environmental organizations including (SETAC)-Europe. He was the first African to serve in Europe both Student Advisory Council and chair at Young Environmental Scientist Committee. Task member in numerous environmental legislations in South Africa. A delegate in Abidjan Convention  COP 11 where he decided to dedicate his studies for service in African continent from Ports environmental pollution perspective. The youngest african member in both First Panels of Experts in Ocean Governance for Africa and also in Strategic Assessment of Port Environmental Issues Policies and Programs (SAPEIPP) in West, Central and Southern Africa (UNEP). AU (Ethiopia) – Task Force  on Draft Zero road map- Kickoff of the Decade of African Seas and Oceans.

Melato’s main goal is to serve the community of African continent in improving environmental conditions that benefit people’s lifes. “Wisdom is better than strength and weapons of war, for wisdom giveth life to them that have it”.


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Abou Bamba  is the Executive Secretary of the The Abidjan Convention, adopted in Abidjan in 1981, is an intergovernmental treaty providing the framework for regional cooperation for the conservation and development of marine and coastal environment. The Convention and its protocol concerning cooperating in combating pollution in cases of emergency came into force in 1984. To date the Convention covers the marine environment, coastal zones and related inland waters falling within the jurisdiction of the States of the Western African Region, from Mauritania to South Africa.

Based on its prerogatives and in an effort to cover all the items in its scope of action, the convention, in partnership with key global environment actors agreed to plan and implement key projects covering aspects such as MAMI WATA: Which aims to provide technical and institutional training-of- trainers and peer learning- based capacity building for national planners and decision-makers dealing with marine and coastal management, across relevant sector ministries and government agencies.


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Hayley McLellan began her career in 1989 training dolphins at Sea World, Durban. Ensuing years saw her dedication to animal care, behaviour, and presentations of many creatures. Her ever-evolving conservation awareness and experiences grew her passion for preservation of the environment. As Environmental Campaigner at the Two Oceans Aquarium, human behaviour is Hayley’s newfound inspiration. She seeks a variety of audiences to share her campaigning enthusiasm with, trusting that humans essentially want to do right by the planet. The vision of a plastic shopping bag free South Africa is currently her life’s work.


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Chris Wilcox is a research scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, stationed in Hobart, Tasmania.  His research covers a wide range of topics in population management including control of invasive species, conservation of threatened biodiversity, and management of commercial and recreational harvesting.

His work integrates field data, statistical analysis and predictive models to synthesize information to support decision-making.  He has worked with NGOs, government and private enterprise over a 23-year career as a professional biologist to develop cost effective solutions to natural resource management problems.  Originally from the USA, he has a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in ecology and conservation biology.

He has been in Australia for 10 years, first working in the Great Artesian Basin on effects of groundwater withdrawal by mining on wetlands.  Since coming to CSIRO in 2005, his research has included biodiversity offsets, population estimation, analysis of satellite tracking data, optimization of feral eradication, management of fisheries, reserve design and management.  He currently co-leads two large research programs, focused on the ecological impacts of marine debris and the development of analytical tools for tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.


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Dr. Jenna Jambeck is an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for 20 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001. She also specializes in global waste management issues and plastic contamination. Her work on plastic waste inputs into the ocean published in Science was widely publicized, and she has spoken at events for the Global Ocean Commission, Our Ocean Conference, testified to U.S. Congress, and is on an advisory panel for the UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter. In November 2014, Jenna sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with 13 other women in expedition to sample land and open ocean plastic and to encourage women to enter STEM disciplines. She is the co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool that continues to facilitate a growing global citizen science initiative. The app has documented the location of over one million litter and marine debris items removed from our environment throughout the world.


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Nancy Wallace is the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program. The Marine Debris Program is the federal lead for researching, preventing, and reducing the impacts of marine debris in the United States. Nancy is the Chair of the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee, Chair of the United Nation’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter, and Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Marine Debris Working Group.  Nancy has worked on ocean policy related issues for the past 15 years. Her work includes resource conservation with the National Park Service, developing sustainable catch limits for fisheries off the east coast of the United States and efforts to improve water quality in the Gulf of Mexico.


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Jaisheila Rajput is passionate about transforming the way we do business. She is a fervent believer in developing practical and comprehensive solutions that have the biggest value with long-term benefits and impact. Jaisheila obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town. From the beginning, she has leveraged her research and innovation capabilities into developing practical, industry relevant solutions. She has a career spanning over a decade in large corporates in the automotive, chemicals and construction industries. Her rich background includes technical, management systems, strategy and sustainability. She has worked in several countries including South Africa, Germany and Hong Kong. Jaisheila brings a fresh global perspective to the development of solutions for companies doing business in Africa.


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Allison Schutes serves as a senior manager for the Trash Free Seas Program at Ocean Conservancy where she oversees the annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest, single-day volunteer effort on behalf of the ocean. Allison works to engage individuals and communities in the issue of ocean trash through education, outreach and the belief that we all can make a difference. Prior to working at Ocean Conservancy, Allison worked five years at an aquarium managing marine education and conservation programming. Allison received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rollins College and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning from the University of Florida.


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Chandru Wadhwani (Joint Managing Director, Extrupet (Pty) Ltd) is a BSc Business Studies graduate from City University in London, UK. He has been involved in the Textile & Plastics industries for the last 27 years across the African continent. 16 of those years have been spent in South Africa as part of the team responsible for the setting up and running of Africa’s leading PET and HDPE bottle recycling company, Extrupet.

He’s currently Extrupet’s Joint Managing Director where he is part of a team of dedicated plastic recycling practitioner’s, tasked with leading the company into its next phase of recycling, namely the expansion and technological development of the group’s ‘bottle-to-bottle’ recycling activities.

The Group’s major expansion in this space was the introduction of a Starlinger System in 2014, which is approved by several MNCs. The plant has been running successfully at the Johannesburg site and new market segments such as CSD’s and Bottled Water have been penetrated. The site remains BRC certified and both its ‘Food Grade’ plants have an EFSA opinion document, with the Starlinger line polymer having been approved for use upto 100%.

Extrupet has also taken on the task of exploring developments into new “end use” markets for rPET, rHDPE and Mixed Plastics to further the expansion of collection networks in the wake of the growing amounts of plastic waste in our environment and oceans. Without tangible inroads in this space, it becomes near impossible to grow much needed collection and recovery systems to face the growing challenge posed by post-consumer plastic waste.


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Annabé studied Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University and subsequently gathered 30 years of experience in the South African plastics industry and is still passionate about plastics.  She started with the CSIR in Textile Research, moved to Gauteng and worked for AECI Detonators as Technical Officer.  In 1990 she started with the Plastics Federation of SA and had various job titles ranging from Training officer to Technical Support Manager.  She formed her own company, Plastix 911, in July 2007 and is involved with process and material fault finding, advice to new entrants into the industry and material selection.  Plastics|SA (previously called PFSA) uses her expertise to assist with technical enquiries.  She is contracted for a couple of days a month to SAPRO (the South African Plastics Recyclers Organisation).

Over the last couple of years, she completed a number of surveys in the plastics recycling industry, the plastics converting industry as well as the raw material suppliers.  Her sense of humour, in-depth knowledge and understanding of the local industry makes her a popular speaker at conferences and symposiums.  She is often asked to participate on judging panels as her theoretical knowledge, underlying experience and passion for anything plastics adds value to the judging process in general.


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Neville Emslie, PhD in Chemistry from University of Natal, post-doctoral research with Dr Ian Fleming at Cambridge, UK

Synthetic Organic Chemist, with the following sequential work  experience, 1983 to present:

•AECI R&D Chemicals and Polymer Research
•Sasol R&D, Research Scientist, New Products research
•University of Natal, Associate Professor of Chemistry
•Sasol R&D, Analytical Research and Laboratory management
•Currently, Chief Scientist for Clariter