- Out of 54 states, 34 have either passed a law banning plastics and implemented it or have passed a law to tackle the plastics menace.
- Plastic pollution is a global crisis and governments need to collaborate in a more coordinated approach to end this crisis.
- Legally binding agreements will deal with plastic pollution from production to disposal.
Africa has come a long way on the journey to tackle plastic pollution with as many as 34 countries out of 54 passing a law banning plastics. However, these countries have a long way to go in implementing these rules that create a plastic-free continent.
“We have seen countries such as Rwanda taking the lead in the quest to find a global binding instrument to deal with the plastic crisis. Others like Morocco, whose consumption of the raw material used in manufacturing plastic bags dropped by 50 per cent since its plastic bag ban came into effect in 2015. We urge other African countries to join them in effective implementation of the existing plastic regulations.” This was the call by Greenpeace Africa’s West Africa Regional Coordinator, Nono Prudence Wanko Djiodio. Djiodio was spoking during the World Environment Day in Côte d’Ivoire.
The proponents of single-use plastics are, however, pushing for more plastic production and exports into Africa. This could undermine progress made by countries to ban single-use plastic products and combat pollution.
Finding ways to beat plastic pollution
Africa’s leadership has the power to address these challenges and bring to an end this illegal and neocolonialist way of dealing with waste once and for all.
Greenpeace Africa joined the world in celebrating the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, hosted by Côte d’Ivoire. This day has been set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness on environmental issues and call for action for the protection of environment.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day focused on solutions to plastic pollution and finding ways to #BeatPlasticPollution.
“It is encouraging to see countries come together on this special day to take urgently needed actions towards a plastic-free future. This move shows that our governments are slowly recognising the threat plastics pollution poses to life on this planet, to our ecosystems and the climate,” Djiodio said.
“We hope that this recognition will energise them to tighten their opposition to plastic production, which is projected to rise significantly in the next decade,” she added.
End plastic pollution crisis through legal deals
Plastic pollution is a global crisis. It needs governments to collaborate in a more coordinated approach to end this crisis through a legally binding agreement. It is through such collaboration that humanity can deal with the plastic pollution from production to disposal.
Governments in Africa and globally must recognise that this is a unique opportunity to stem the tide of this global crisis.
“A plastic free future is possible in Africa if governments resist the corporate capture by plastics proponents and take bold actions towards solving this crisis. Cooperation among governments across Africa and the world is critical in forging a strong global plastic treaty to finally turn off the plastic tap for the sake of our communities, our children, our climate and our continent,” explained Djiodio.