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Accelerating Sierra Leone’s circular economy of plastics

Recognizing the risks of plastics pollution to tourism and other sectors, Sierra Leone creates opportunities for an increased circular economy, sustainable tourism, economic diversification and environmental conservation.

The project is part of joint efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone (Ministry of Finance) and the World Bank Group, within the initiative “Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP)”. It aims to facilitate investment, growth of SMEs, and entrepreneurship in non-mining productive sectors in Sierra Leone, such as tourism. 

The project focuses on helping Sierra Leone reduce the problem of plastic pollution. This is done in several stages. As a first step, we identified the economic sectors that contribute to plastic pollution the most. These sectors were assessed in terms of their potential to substitute, re-use or manufacture products from recycled plastics. Initial mapping points included, but didn’t limit to, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality, transport, and construction. This helped to identify and profile sectors that can stimulate the reduction of plastic pollution via regulatory changes concerning the practice of recycling, which leads to the development and production of alternative materials.

The project encompasses in-country interviews with focus groups, stakeholders, and entrepreneurial discovery workshops (EDW). It is also intended to create a Plastics Leadership Platform to further enable SMEs, companies, start-ups, NGOs and governments to contribute to solving plastic pollution challenges. The project does not just tackle pollution, but contributes to gender equality via the creation of career opportunities for women and girls in the fields of plastics manufacturing, re-use, and R&D.

The consortium, formed by Anteja ECG (SI) and VDI/VDE-IT (DE), and ManoCap (Sierra Leone), has had substantial experience in similar assignments related to the circular economy in Africa and globally. The involvement of local partners ensures participation of companies and plastic waste management stakeholders.

Partners: VDI/VDE-IT (DE), ManoCap (Sierra Leone)

Client: The World Bank Group

Date: January 2021 – June 2022


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