More than 400 million tons of plastic are produced every year. Half are single use. Of this total, less than 10% is recycled. However, many plastic products contain dangerous additives that can pose a threat to human health.
Every year on June 5, the world celebrates the day dedicated to the environment. This year’s theme focused on solutions to plastic pollution as part of the “Beat Plastic Pollution” campaign.
According to a publication by the Geneva Environment Network, the world is awash in plastics. He estimates that 19 to 23 million tons of plastics end up in lakes, rivers and seas and that each person on the planet consumes more than 50,000 plastic particles per year and many more if you consider inhalation. This network indicates that discarded or burned single-use plastic harms human health and biodiversity and pollutes all ecosystems, from mountain tops to the bottom of the ocean.
Harmful effects of plastic pollution
Many plastic products contain dangerous additives, which can pose a threat to our health, the economy and the environment.
What is less known is that the microplastics are found in the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe. The good news is that we have the science and the solutions to tackle the problem and a lot of measures are already being implemented. What we need most now is strong public and political pressure for governments, businesses and other stakeholders to step up and accelerate their actions to tackle plastic pollution.
According to the UN Secretary General, plastic clutters our landfills, seeps into the ocean and turns into toxic smoke. Which makes it one of the most serious threats to the planet.
What about Burundi?
Burundi has evolved in the fight against the use of plastic objects. Since 2020, the government has banned the production, sale and use of sachets and other non-biodegradable objects. This measure has been implemented even though there are still people who continue to use these items in shops and markets.
The Burundi Bureau of Standardization and quality control (BBN) recently made a decision to remove all plastic items intended for single use from the market.