Namibia's Recycling Industry Still in Its Infancy, Study Finds

A recent study about solid waste found that the recycling industry in Namibia is still in its infancy with most activities concentrated in the recovery, collection and semi-processing stages of the recycling chain.

The study entitled 'Recycling solid waste: A study on an emerging raw material industry in Namibia,' reveals that little processing of recyclable raw materials and manufacturing products is done locally while the subsequent manufacturing and production of new goods are done outside Namibia - a situation which may disadvantage the country in terms of industrial and economic growth.

A host of challenges hinder the potential success of the recycling industry in Namibia. The study further shows that despite the challenges, the industry is a welcome development in the country, as it has become a source of employment as well as a waste reduction measure. "Networking within the industry both locally and regionally facilitates its survival," it further reads.

The study recommends an integrated recycling model for Namibia, which could assist solid waste management. Such a programme could promote a culture of recycling; review of a legal and regulatory framework; build technical capacity through the establishment of a recycling fund; and development of programmes of action, including an establishment of a national database of recyclable waste.

The Namibian carried a story this week about the official announcement of the government's newly enacted N$0,50 environmental levy to be charged on plastic bags.

The spokesperson at the finance ministry, Tonateni Shidhudhu, had said this move would strengthen the government's efforts in protecting the environment and improving waste management in the country with the funds generated from the levy.

The study, by Tandiwe Mutede, was conducted as partial fulfilment for a doctorate degree in geography and environmental studies at the University of Namibia in the 2018/19 academic year.

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