A Namibia free of plastic

17 March 2017 | Local News

On average, a person uses a plastic bag for only 12 minutes while it can take up to 1 000 years to degrade in the environment.

To further compound matters, the amount of petroleum used to make a single plastic bag can be used by a car to travel about 115 metres.

These are some of the facts that were shared at the launch of a Plastic-Free Environment in Namibia last week at the Namibia Scientific Society.

The aim of the campaign is to discourage the use of plastic bags by developing a plastic-free mindset and to stimulate discussions around enacting a law against plastic shopping bags.

According to a press release issued by the society, plastic bags are commonly used in Namibia for packaging because they are cheap and easily accessible. However, their use can have a severe impact on the environment if not properly disposed of.

For instance, plastic bags that are improperly disposed have caused the death of many livestock and this problem is likely to increase now, due to the drastic weather changes as a result of climate change.

“Due to drought, it is even more critical for Namibia to implement plastic management measures in order to safeguard animals and reduce landfill waste,” the society said.

It says the worst impacts of improper plastic disposal are often observed in the ocean, making up to 95% of the rubbish floating around.

Based on this, in 2005, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) made a call to promote the global ban of plastic bags to curb marine littering.

The campaign is an initiative that is being carried out in partnership with the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) and the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources Management, Sophia Swartz. It also includes one of Namibia's top musical bands, PDK, Miss Earth Namibia, Elize Shakaela and The Dogg.



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