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Zimbabwe yet to ban single use plastics

by Staff reporter
11 Aug 2022 at 06:42hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is yet to ban single use plastic bags despite that they are a major environmental threat, the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) said yesterday.

Ema spokesperson Amkela Sidange told NewsDay that single use plastics are one of the country's major environmental threats because they are non-biodegradable.

"Single use plastics remain a major environmental pollution threat by virtue of their nature. They are non-biodegradable and have a longer resident period in the environment, thus increasing waste accumulation in the environment," she said.

"When ingested by animals, they cause digestive problems that can result in death of livestock, thus impacting agricultural capital of the country. They clog sewage drains resulting in blockages and discharge of sewage into the environment.

"Zimbabwe is yet to ban single use plastics, but has put a ban on use of thin plastics measuring less than 30 micrometres  through Statutory Instrument 98 of 2010."

Sidange said according to the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, Zimbabwe generated about 1,6 million tonnes of waste annually and 18% is plastic.

She said this translated to about 300 tonnes, adding that because of the lightness of plastic, 300 tonnes of plastic can occupy more space in the environment than any other waste material.

Environmental activist Spencer Tafadzwa Muvezwa urged government to quickly ban single use plastics.

"Big single use plastic producers are giving us false solutions like recycling to reduce the massive amounts of disposable plastic waste, when in fact most single use plastic is simply burnt. It contributes to greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"Single use plastics don't biodegrade; they just break into micro particles which contaminate our environment. If we allow single use producers to continue with their work, then we are killing our nature and putting the future generations in danger."

Single use plastics end up clogging rivers because they do not dissolve, thereby affecting water purity, resulting in possible aquatic animals deaths.

"Plastics pollute our land. In Harare's central business district, there are plastics everywhere. When humans dump plastic waste into landfills, the soil gets damaged. Plastics ruin fertility of the soil and enable various disease carrying insects to gather, causing deadly illnesses," he said.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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