20 June 2018

Ethiopia: Ministry Attaches Due Attention to Curb Plastic Pollution

Plastics can clog ditches, sewers and cause floods

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) disclosed that it has developed a national policy that restrict the production or importation, distribution and utilization of plastic bags that are below the qualification standard.

Ministry's Solid and Hazardous Waste Compliance Director Girma Gemechu told The Ethiopian Herald that the Ministry has found alarming results from the study it conducted on the status of plastic pollution in about 24 areas in Ethiopia. Plastic pollution constitutes nine to 14 percent portion of the total waste, and nearly 50 percent of it will/is not properly disposed, he added.

The Director stressed that this in turn triggers so many problems on the environment and public health. "Malpractices in plastic disposal, like burning them easily release dangerous chemicals such as methane and carbon-dioxide to the soil and air. It also spoils the aesthetic value of the environment."

He also said that because plastics do not easily decompose, they cause floods by clogging ditches and sewers.

According to Girma, the policy also dictates bottled water companies and others to get involved in recollecting utilized bottles. The policy also inquires the companies to provide financial support for institutions involved modern waste disposal. However, the policy is not ratified by house of people's representatives yet.

The Ministry as well as other concerned bodies are striving to dispose plastic wastes in modern way, while there are some organizations that are using this waste to process, produce and export other materials.

Girma called upon the people to reconsider the way they are using and disposing plastic materials. He also urged concerned government organs, media and other environment concerned stakeholders to raise the awareness of the people in order to halt this situation.

While plastic pollution problem is worldwide issue, there have been some countries that have been successful in managing the issue effectively.

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