Greenpeace seeks “long term solution to keep plastic out of Africa”

By Aghan Daniel I

Greenpeace Africa activists are urging Africa’s environment ministers to keep plastic pollution out of the continent.

The resumed 18th session of the AMCEN is taking place in Dakar, Senegal from 12 to 16 September 2022 under the theme: “Securing people’s well-being and ensuring environmental sustainability in

Africa. AMCEN is expected to craft an African position on an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution including in the marine environment – as adopted by the UNEA 5.2 resolution in March 2022.

“As Africa’s environment ministers meet in Senegal this week, we hope to see them adopt a progressive and ambitious plan to free our communities of plastic pollution. Our continent has an opportunity to present a united front towards a legally binding global plastic treaty and close the doors of Africa to those seeking to dump their plastic waste on Africa’s soil,” said Greenpeace Africa’s Oceans & Plastic Campaigner, Awa Traoré.

Plastic pollution remains a global crisis, but Africa, according to the statement has the added burden of plastic waste dumping.

Countries in the Global North are scrambling to find nations in Africa to ship their plastic waste as evidenced in the recent past when the American Chemistry Council was lobbying to undermine Kenya’s anti-plastic laws to dump plastic and use Kenya as a gateway to flood Africa with plastic waste, reads part of the statement

It said that the proponents of single-use plastics are pushing for more plastic production and exportation into Africa. This could undermine progress made by countries to ban single-use plastic products and combat pollution.

“We hope that our ministers will use this opportunity to strengthen cooperation among governments across Africa and together forge a strong support for the global plastic treaty to finally turn off the plastic tap for the sake of our communities, our climate and our continent,” Traoré said.


Latest estimates by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) indicate that most of Africa’s rural towns and burgeoning cities, rivers and coastlines are increasingly becoming heavily polluted with discarded plastic packaging and other plastic waste.

Africa generated a total of 25 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2020, of which 20 million tonnes were mismanaged, it said.


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