health

May 16, 2022

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

2 min read

Plastic waste a threat to environment

Plastic waste a threat to environment

The dumpsite located in Ha Ts'osane, Maseru near Lancer's Gap

Story highlights

  • Maseru residents generate tonnes of plastic
  • Lesotho faces an imminent and serious plastic waste problem

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RAPIDLY increasing production of disposable plastic products has overwhelmed the world’s ability to deal with plastics pollution, one of the most pressing environmental issues.

Director of Environment in the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Stanley Damane, said Lesotho faced an imminent and serious plastic waste problem, part of the solid waste to deal with.

He said the 2006 baseline study for Maseru found that the district generated an annual average of 105 000 tonnes of total solid waste with plastic representing 15 percent of the total waste generated finding its way to the dumpsites, open spaces, rivers and the ocean.

Then study further indicated that of the total waste generated, only one percent was recycled.

Although the public widely recognises that indiscriminate use of plastic shopping bags is a major and visible environmental problem in Lesotho, a lot of work in proper management of waste through all its streams still has to be done.

Mr Damane said various stakeholders’ interests and expectations in shaping Lesotho’s future waste management system called for a holistic approach.

He said there was a need to consider public-private partnership approach in an endeavour to better manage waste in Lesotho.

Driven at community level, it should use low energy or low technology resources in the process promoting the application of 7R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, Research and Recover.

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Pheha Plastic representative, Maleshoane Mohanoe said plastic waste entered the environment when it was poorly managed, adding that there were many ways to curb plastic waste.

These methods, she said included producing less, consuming less and better managing the waste that already exists to prevent contamination or leakage.

“Taking these actions requires engagement from numerous stakeholders in society, including governments, community organisations, businesses and manufacturers,” Ms Mohanoe said during an event about the movement of plastic waste in the SADC region.

“Management of plastic waste often starts at the household and individual levels, and strategies to educate and motivate citizens can dramatically change.”

 

 

 

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