By Elvis Dumba
The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry, Hon Nomangiliso Ndlovu has called for the reduction of land pollution through sustainable waste management strategies
Minister Ndlovu made the remarks during a press briefing on the commemoration of Africa Environment Day in Harare.
“As Africa, we stand united, in an endeavour to promote and strengthen innovative nature-based solutions to achieve sustainable development goals, contributing to global best environmental practices, while maintaining our African values, The theme also dovetails with the reduction of land pollution by implementing sustainable waste management strategies such as waste separation at source, material recovery, and recycling.
“Zimbabwe’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan indicates that the nation produces an estimated 1. 65 million tonnes of waste per annum. Of the volume of waste produced, 90% can either be reused, recycled or composted, hence there is a need to explore the best options in terms of disposal, as we sustain our shift from the linear to the circular economy.” He said
Africa Environment Day is commemorated every year on 3 March with this year’s commemoration themed ” Growing the Recycling Industry for a Sustainable Economy by 2030”
Minister Ndlovu said the linear economy is based on extraction, consumption, and disposal, which apparently has resulted in the accumulation of numerous waste streams including hazardous and electronic waste, unsustainable energy consumption, and high chemical usage which then destroys our ecosystems.
He said recycling is a key component in scaling up and replication of the circular economy models. Currently, Zimbabwe recycles only 10% of its waste, hence the need to support, enhance, and improve the capacity of this sector.
“In order to enhance the functioning of the recycling industry, my Ministry, through the Environmental Management Agency and its partners, has established 150 waste transfer stations across the country, where members of the public can dispose of their separated recyclable material. I urge all citizens to take advantage of this facility and utilize it so as to create a clean, safe, and healthy environment.
“At this juncture, let me applaud all recyclers for the crucial role they are playing towards the economy and environmental sustainability. If we join hands with the recyclers, we will surely abide in an environment that is clean and not harmful to health, as stated in the Constitution of the land,” Minister Ndlovu said.
The National Commemoration of Africa Day will be held jointly with the National Clean-up Day in Harare through a Recycling Expo, where all players in the recycling value chain are expected to convene.
In Zimbabwe, a number of players recycle plastic; low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) as well as scrap metal. A few companies recycle polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), paper, and beverage cans. Recycling is mainly concentrated in Harare and other cities. Some companies export raw forms of waste, chips, and pellets to countries such as South Africa and China.
The Africa Environment Day was designated in 2002 by the then Organization of African Union Council of Ministers in Durban, South Africa, in recognition of the numerous environmental challenges confronting the African continent and the need to establish lasting, innovative nature-based solutions to these challenges.