Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE has established a vibrant plastic recycling industry as a means to conserve planet earth through instituting measures to reduce plastic pollution towards a green economy.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said this at the on-going United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 in Portugal on Tuesday.
The 14th goal seeks to ensure that all member states conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Minister Ndlovu who is attending the conference with other fellow ministers and country officials said Zimbabwe is equally concerned about pollution as the country relies on the oceans for a number of services.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has not only set us back in the implementation of SDG14, but has led to an increase in demand for single-use plastics, such as masks and gloves,” he said.
“This has intensified pressure on the marine environment, exacerbating the marine litter problem.
“To address this challenge, there is a need for further promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns, together with marine litter management and solid waste prevention at the source, through the development of new and innovative strategies.
“Zimbabwe is committed to fully contribute towards global efforts to conserve our ocean and our planet earth, through instituting measures to reduce plastic pollution.”
Minister Ndlovu said Zimbabwe, although landlocked, has taken steps to ensure that waste, along the plastic life cycle, is addressed.
“My country now has a vibrant plastic industry, which contributes to recycling of plastic waste, and improved livelihoods. We have also begun phasing down the usage of single use plastics with the hope of phasing them out by the end of 2023,” said Ndlovu.
He called on G20 countries, who are responsible for 80 percent of all emissions to step up in their emission cuts.
“We call on the rich nations, particularly as agreed in Glasgow, to keep 1.5 degrees alive, let 2022 be the year of ‘implementation’. At COP 27 in Egypt, we look forward to seeing those responsible for the high emissions honoring the US$100 billion climate finance commitment, to assist us to better mitigate and adapt, as that is the only way we can win the battle,” said Minister Ndlovu.