BUJUMBURA, October 11th (ABP) – The Burundi Consumers Association (ABUCO), organized on October 6, 2023, a workshop on the efficient management of plastic waste, within the framework of the circular economy, with a view to raising awareness among all stakeholders in environmental protection.
Taking the floor on behalf of the Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Déogratias Nahumuremyi said that the economic accessibility and the very practical nature of plastic and packaging items have led to their production in mass without any correlation with the rational management of those products after use.
He added that the rapid growth of the plastic industry, associated with the all-out distribution of plastic products, have caused the permanent invasion of the environment by those polluting products.
In addition, he noted, since 2018 the government has enacted a decree prohibiting the importation, marketing and use of plastic bags. However, these products are still observed throughout the country, in this case in the municipality of Bujumbura, he regretted. According to him, plastics dumped in nature and this for many years, remain a danger to health and the environment.
Aware of this danger, Mr. Nahumuremyi recalled that the government of Burundi has initiated many projects intended to turn this challenge into an opportunity and it is within this framework that it has been implementing, since this year, the capacity building project in chemical and waste management within the framework of the circular economy (GPDEC). He indicated that the government reaffirms its commitment to supporting any actor who gets involved in sustainable development activities, explaining that this is a contribution to the implementation of the country’s 2040 and 2060 vision.
He also recalled the three main areas that the circular economy takes into account. These are sustainable production, responsible consumption and waste management. These concepts are essential to reduce the environmental impact of human activities and better manage the resources used.
In turn, the Director General of ABUCO, Mr. Pierre Nduwayo, pointed out that the management of plastic waste remains the problem in the municipality of Bujumbura. People throw this garbage wherever they want in full view of everyone. It has become a habit for most of the residents of that locality. When it rains, their final destination is the freshwater reservoir, Lake Tanganyika and its tributaries, he deplored.
Mr. Nduwayo specified that the consequences of plastic waste are unfortunate for the environment and human health. He explained that this is dangerous for the lives of the people, where more than 90% consume water that comes from Lake Tanganyika. Fish reproduction is also affected because this waste pollutes the waters at the mouth of Lake Tanganyika, known as the spawning bed of fish for their reproduction.
The head of ABUCO took the opportunity to call for the recycling of plastic waste and the promotion of the circular economy to transform a threat into an opportunity.