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Plastic pollution is becoming more and more serious in Africa

Garbage in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. (Photo: AP)

In the South African city of Johannesburg, landfills are increasingly piling up by plastic waste. Garbage excavators work regularly but are nothing compared to the huge amount of waste. It is estimated that each month Johannesburg collects up to 40,000 tons of waste including plastic. In 2018, South Africa’s most populous city asked residents to separate their trash, but the implementation was not very effective. Now, waste pollutionespecially plastic waste is still a dilemma.

Mr. Muzi Mkhwanazi, of waste treatment service Pikitup, said: “Plastic is not biodegradable like other types of waste, so it lasts a long time. If you compact it, it will take up a large amount of space. landfill, hard to collect. When there is wind, the situation is worse, people complain a lot. Plastic garbage also drifts into the sea, polluting the water stream, fish can’t live. This is really, It’s really a big deal.”

Plastic pollution is becoming more and more serious in Africa - Photo 1.

People pick up trash in Johannesburg. (Photo: AP)

The growing amount of plastic waste inadvertently becomes the livelihood of some South Africans. They pick up trash, sort it, and then sell it to a recycling company. The money they earn also helps them to make a living. However, experts warn that the health consequences cannot be underestimated when being exposed to polluted waste every day.

Ms. Carmen Jordaan, Director of Whole Earth Recycling, said: “Although sorting is done at the landfill, it is still not as effective as sorting waste at the source. Only then can we save time and carry out recycling. make plastic waste more efficient”.

It is estimated that Africa has an average waste collection rate of 55%, but only 4% of it is recycled. This is lower than the African Union’s goal of recycling at least 50% of its waste.

Recently, a conference was held in South Africa to discuss the issue of plastic waste treatment and provide solutions to the increasingly serious pollution problem today.

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