August 6, 2023

MINISTER of Green Economy and Environment Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu MP has called on Zambians to get involved in fighting plastic pollution.

During the commemoration of the World Environment Day at Bauleni Combined School on

Monday which was held under the theme “Beat plastic Pollution”, Hon. Nzovu said plastic waste is clogging the drainage systems and landfills, accumulating in dams, lakes and rivers. further, many single-use plastic products and packaging materials, are not disposed of in containers for subsequent removal to landfills, recycling centres, or incinerators.

“Today our supply chains are laden with unsustainable commercial and domestic production patterns in all the main economic drivers including; agriculture, mining, trade and industry, infrastructure developments, forestry and waste management,” he said.

He said tackling plastic pollution requires an approach that addresses all stages of plastic’s life cycle, from production to consumption to waste management, reducing pollution and waste at each stage.

Hon. Nzovu said Government has put in place policies and legislation that are aimed at addressing the various environmental challenges including plastic pollution which include the National Policy on Environment of 2007 and the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011 both of which are undergoing review process to make them respond effectively to the new and emerging environmental issues.

He said Government is further implementing the extended producer responsibility regulations, which limit the production of single use plastic carrier bags of less than 30 microns and thin flat bags.

Hon. Nzovu said Government has continued to monitor the implementation of the EPR and is in the process of enhancing it so that it can compel all manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of various products and items on the market to be responsible for creating infrastructure to take back and recycle the products that they produce.

He said Government is also collaborating with several community-based enterprises that have been established after the enactment of Statutory Instrument No. 65on extended producer responsibility.

“These communities-based enterprises are actively involved in collection, separation and recycling of plastics. through such initiatives, these enterprises have created employment for the communities and are contributing positively to income generation and environmental protection. Further my Ministry has commenced the process of developing a green growth strategy aimed at transitioning to circular approaches and sustainable production and consumption,” he said.

“Letus all reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. Let us continue to learn from each other and remain committed to keep our environment safe. We all need to support the fight against plastic pollution and make Zambia clean, green and health.”

And Justice Minister Hon. Mulambo Haimbe, who is also Lusaka Central Member of Parliament said plastic pollution knows no boundaries and urged everyone to beat plastic pollution by its core.

Hon. Haimbe urged Zambians to redefine consumption habits and embrace workable alternatives that encourage a sustainable cleaner and greener future.

“Education,awareness and advocacy are the cornerstone of our battle to beat plastic pollution, and the choice of holding this meeting at Bauleni Combined Schoolgrounds, signifies the importance of equipping our learners and communities with the knowledge to make informed decisions by reducing plastic consumptionto protect the environment and promote a healthier future for all,” he said.

WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) Country Director Ms Nachilala Nkombo said the theme for the 2023 commemoration “Beat plastic pollution” has come at a critical time when Zambia is ‘chocking’ with plastic.

“Aspartners, we believe that Public - Private Partnerships can address the challenges of waste management by mobilizing the resources, expertise, and networks of both the public and private sectors. As partners, we commit to support the design, implementation, and operationalization of extended responsibility schemes which can be implemented through various mechanisms such as mandatory take-back schemes and deposit-return programs to name a few,” she said.

And Save the Children representative Miriam Phiri urged Government to consider engaging children in decision making processes that border on climate change because the children are the ones who will bear the worst consequences in future.

Waste Management Association of Zambia (WMAZ) president Haroon Witi said the waste management industry has the potential to create over 250, 000 jobs from the 10million kilograms of waste generated on a daily basis in Zambia.

Meanwhile, Zambia Association of Manufacturers Representative Sopani Mzumara, who is also Coordinator for the Proudly Zambian Campaign, said with the growing concerns about sustainable development with regards to environmental protection, plastic pollution and how to deal with it is at the center of discussions even among the manufacturing industry players.

And Kabulonga Ward 19 Councillor Kosam Tembo said on behalf of Lusaka Mayor Chilando Chitangala that there is need for concrete efforts from every stakeholder to beat Plastic pollution in local communities.

Mr. Tembo said the local authority will continue to sensitise communities on sustainable waste management practices.


Read More