Africa’s plastic garbage is now growing significantly

According to recent analysis, plastic garbage is “spiralling out of control” in Africa, where it is expanding at the fastest rate of any other continent.

The NGO Tearfund claims that every minute, enough plastic garbage is burned or dumped in sub-Saharan Africa to cover a football field.

The region is expected to produce six times as much plastic waste yearly by 2060—116 million tonnes—than it did in 2019 if the current trend continues. In sub-Saharan Africa, where as per report 70% of population is under 30, the desire for cars and other products due to rising income levels and population expansion is the primary cause of the region’s increased plastic use.

Global plastic consumption is expected to nearly treble by 2060.

The rising demand for plastic anticipated in sub-Saharan Africa, where many nations lack the means to control it, was made public prior to a gathering of states scheduled for next week in Nairobi, Kenya, to negotiate a UN resolution combating plastic pollution.

“The signs of environmental breakdown are all around us, but this treaty has the potential to curb the plastics crisis and improve the lives of billions of people,” stated Tearfund’s senior economist, Rich Gower.

He continued, “Plastic packaging makes up a large portion of the plastic used in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is disposed of and burned. He pleaded with the negotiators in Nairobi to prioritize the pact to include waste pickers, who dispose of 60% of the world’s plastic garbage, and to agree to large reductions in plastic manufacture.

People who live in developing nations and waste pickers who dispose of the debris disproportionately suffer from the negative effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health when there are no international laws or restrictions in place.

“The health of people in Malawi and across Africa is being impacted by plastic pollution every day,” stated Dr. Tiwonge Mzumara-Gawa, a trash campaigner from Malawi who will be attending the negotiations in Kenya.

“Every day, plastic waste is burned and dumped in Malawi, endangering the health of the populace. These talks have demonstrated that although change is inevitable, it will not happen quickly. Some people wish to minimize their aspirations and benefit on the plastic catastrophe.

Eighty bishops and church leaders signed an open letter to the Africa Group and other attendees at the Nairobi talks stating that the region was dealing with “mountains” of improperly managed plastic garbage.

Thirty lorryloads of plastic waste are dumped daily at the Dandora landfill site, which is located a few miles over the river from the UN conference site. It raises the danger of cholera, malaria, diarrheal disease, and other ailments because it serves as a breeding ground for flies,aswell as mosquitoes, and rodents.

Prior to the most recent round of negotiations for the plastics treaty, in May, John Chweya, the leader of Kenya’s waste pickers and a key figure in the push for nations to acknowledge the 20 million waste pickers worldwide, expressed his desire for the treaty to incorporate provisions for collectors’ rights to justice, healthcare, fair compensation, and improved working conditions.

Based on data from an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development database, Tearfund’s study is published in Global Policies Outlook.

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