- The Mozambican government will ban the use of plastic bags by 2024, aiming to guarantee a better solid waste management in the country, said the Minister of Land and Environment Ivete Maibaze on Monday.
Maibaze revealed that 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste are annually discarded into the environment, jeopardising the country’s rivers and oceans. Maibaze, who was speaking in Maputo, during the Validation Seminar of the Study on the Socio-Economic Impact of a Plastic Bag Ban, said “of this amount of plastic waste, 17,000 tonnes go into rivers and oceans.”
The polymers used in the production of disposable plastics, she explained, are not biodegradable and, on average, only begin to decompose after 500 years and take up considerable space in the environment, landfills and waterways.
“This may cause health risks due to contamination of hot food and drinks packaged in these plastics that may contain chemicals such as Benzene and Stellin. This data awakens us to the urgency for more work in a context of joint efforts between various stakeholders″, she said.
“The plastic bag problem cannot be seen as an urban sanitation management issue faced only by Municipal Councils and local governments. It impacts the lives of every citizen, directly and indirectly by contributing to a large extent of inadequate sanitation, creating conditions for the emergence of diseases and threatening biodiversity,” said Maibaze.
The minister said proposal for a regulation on the banning of plastic is already being heard and the country will align itself with the international and national commitments that the government has made through her ministry.
The banning practice is also coordinated by the country’s private sector, non-governmental organizations, and partners, and is embodied in sustainable development projects and the government’s five-year program 2020-2024, said Maibaze.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal