Visionscape Africa has called for better and sustainable infrastructure to waste management in Kenya and the rest of Africa.
According to the waste management thinktank, plastic pollution has become a global challenge not only in Africa but also across the world. According to data from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, there are 50 million plastic bottles used annually most of which go unrecycled.
Visionscape Group Director, Adeniyi Makanjuola noted that there are 8 million tonnes of plastic -bottles, packaging and other waste which enter the ocean annually killing marine life and entering the human food chain. He added that waste management problem is compounded by a glaring lack of infrastructure for the effective management of waste and improper disposal habits cause most plastic waste to end up in our oceans.
“Providing adequate infrastructure to meet the waste management demand of the world’s growing population is likely to remain one of the most significant challenges for emerging markets. For instance, in Kenya, Nairobi, Kisumu, Thika, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret towns generate an estimated 6,000 tonnes of waste daily. However, of these, only 3,962 tonnes are collected while over 2,000 tonnes remain uncollected.” said Makanjuola.
According to research, acknowledging and addressing infrastructure gaps will tackle waste surplus and optimize efficiency levels to support recovery over landfill disposal.
Many of the ways that waste has been managed historically, like burying or burning, work just fine when you use biodegradable materials like ceramics or organic material, this is according to a paper by the University of Georgia. However, plastics are more difficult to manage and there is not always known, resources or opportunities to deal with it appropriately.
The ban on single-use plastics is gradually gaining momentum globally. Emerging economies like Kenya, Bahamas, and Papua New Guinea have set a ban on specific plastic products.
Makanjuola further noted that successful delivery of the infrastructure will boost the economy and provide socio-economic benefits through expanded resource recovery opportunities to the market.
“Africa needs to look beyond landfills as the only means of waste disposal,” he said.