South Africa continues to drown in plastic pollution while ANC dithers
5 June 2023
Plastic pollution across South Africa is at epidemic proportions and is continuing to get worse in areas under ANC control. In these areas it is the local residents and NGOs who have to step in to assist, and many continue to fight an uphill battle without any support from ANC-led governments. Local residents and businesses deal with the impacts of plastic pollution on a daily basis and often it is the poorest of the poor who suffer the worst consequences.
The impact of plastic pollution on wildlife, in particular seabirds and fish is devastating and the ingestion of plastic products can lead to further risks to humans who eat the affected seafood. It is clear that ANC-run provinces and municipalities have no real plans to deal with the gargantuan scale of plastic pollution and this is exacerbated by a growing lack of landfill space and the complete breakdown of many recycling programmes in ANC-controlled areas.
Other African countries such as Kenya have been able to implement complete bans on certain types of plastic waste, while the ANC government has only been able to implement a tax on plastic bags. The plastic bag fund was subsequently found to have been pilfered and millions of rands stolen by corrupt officials.
Recycling is an important component of the fight against plastic waste, but the best way to reduce the amount of plastic is by curbing single-use plastics completely wherever possible. Whilst all South Africans can play a role in reducing their own consumption, a far more significant impact will come via the implementation of bold legislation on a National level. South Africa imports massive amounts of plastic waste from surrounding SADC countries but the ANC government is still only able to recycle less than 10% of our own country’s plastic waste. This is unacceptably low.