Trade Processes for Waste and Recyclables

Trade development is one of the drivers for economic growth and contributes to the advancement of several sustainable development goals. This project focuses on trade in waste as valuable resource. Diverting waste away from dumpsites and landfills towards reuse, recycling and recovery, could inject an additional US$8 billion every year into the African economy, and create significant socio-economic opportunities for the continent. The circular economy (CE) and international trade are closely linked in numerous ways. Trade occurs at various levels along the product value chain, such as trade in materials and waste for recycling and energy recovery, trade in secondary raw materials, trade in second-hand goods and trade in goods for refurbishment and remanufacturing.

Among the main challenges facing trade in waste in African countries is poor waste management systems and the uncontrolled import of plastic waste which have negative impacts, damaging both the environment and public health. Furthermore, policies on trade in waste in Africa will be explored and the main policy barriers to aligning aid for trade and sustainable development goals will be investigated including the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries to trade in waste.

The project will focus on trade of plastic waste as one of the challenging waste streams in Africa. Two countries of high plastic waste import will be investigated: Ghana and Tunisia. The project will look more closely on the need for capacity building and technical assistance in relation to trade processes for waste and recyclables.

The project will be led by Trinomics in collaboration with ACEN Foundation and is funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.