Officials have urged the members of the international community to garner efforts in the proper use and disposal of plastics.
The message was delivered at the virtual meeting on the impact of ‘plastic waste’, that is sponsored by Geneva Environment Network, a body that gathers almost 100 environmental and sustainable development organizations, led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNEP).
Juliet Kabera, the Director-General of the National Environmental Management Authority (REMA), called on the international community to join forces in the fight against the use of plastics where necessary, because of its effect on human health and the environment in general.
Kabera called on the international community to support the project and to ratify the global plastic treaty, emphasizing that elimination and reduction of plastic-related issues require domestic, regional and global cooperation in general.
“After the quality talks that have taken place in recent months, we are pleased with the progress that has been made in harmonizing the plastic ban rules,” she said. “We hope that all countries will agree to take the next step in agreeing to this international agreement, which will be an important tool in tackling the plastic problem that threatens us.”
In the run-up to the ratification of the global plastic treaty, Kabera also pointed out that there is a lot that each country can do individually to provide a solution to the problem.
She stressed the need to increase awareness about the harmful effects of plastics, as well as the solution-related development of technologies that address the environment.
It was in 2004 that Rwanda introduced measures to prevent the use of plastic bags and other plastic packaging materials.
Since then, the fight has continued and in 2019, the use of disposable plastics has become a priority, with the aim of combating pollution and environmental degradation.
In addition, in September 2021, Rwanda and Peru proposed the drafting of an international treaty aimed at combating plastics and their effects.
It is expected to be discussed at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting between February 28 and March 2, 2022.
The United Nations report highlighted that the amount of plastics produced per year is about 350 million tonnes. If left untreated, it will reach 33 billion tonnes by 2050.
The International Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations (IUCN) has found that many aquatic insects mix with plastic and that they end up affecting their eating habits.
Studies have shown that plastic materials reach the soil and remain dormant for many years. When the sun reflects on the plastics pollutants are emitted, which also send pollutants into the air.