Govt to phase out plastic

HARARE - Single use plastic products have found themselves in the limelight after government indicated it is mooting to phase out plastic to curb post-consumer waste.

Speaking after a clean-up campaign in Harare on Saturday, Environment and Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira said government was committed to leading waste management awareness campaigns.

This comes as government is set to launch a national clean-up programme dubbed the Clean Cities Campaign.

“It also time that the nation starts reducing the amount of plastic that we use in our daily activities as a phase out of plastic is coming. Globally, there is a strong position on the complete ban of single use plastic products,” Mupfumira said at the closure of the clean-up campaign in conjunction with Harare City Council and PHD ministries.

“May I also urge all waste generators that, waste bins must be available and emptied at designated places. Failure to do so, my ministry, will be left with no option except to unleash the full wrath of the law to all violators of the law.”

She added that as a ministry, they encourage adoption of sustainable waste management practises without exception.

“Waste separation at source should be the norm and the new way of doing business by all waste generators. Through waste separation it’s easy to promote waste recycling.”

Last year, Government banned the use the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) also known as kaylite with the Environmental Management Authority (Ema) citing health and environmental risks.

The requirement forced retailers to use alternatives such as paper wrappers, khaki wrappers, cardboard box and fibre containers which had a small knock on effect on the price of food stuffs.

Meanwhile, littering the environment — classified a level three offense — attracts a $30 fine, Ema said. Speaking to the Daily News during the same clean-up exercise, acting Education and Publicity manager Rambwayi Mapako said littering was a serious offense that could attract a fine or jail term.

“Littering or throwing a paper on the ground is a level three offense that attracts a $30 fine, but if you are a repeat offender, we will take you to court where you will receive a jail term so that others learn it is a serious offence...,” Rambwayi said.

Rambwayi bemoaned the recent cholera outbreak, which killed around 50 people, saying that it had been a time bomb waiting to explode due to environmental pollution which was propelled by people.

“The recent cholera epidemic we witnessed recently is nothing other than a collapse of the environmental system and so when we fail to take care of the environment we witness catastrophes.

“It was just a sign of pollution that had reached alarming levels so our population became exposed, so people must be responsible, because polluters to me are murderers since people die from the diseases that emanate from that one way or the other,” he said.

Comments (1)

How about you phase out hunger first before you worry about plastic. Get rid of the evil that is Zanu PF then we are all good.

Moe Syszlack - 30 October 2018

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