Earth Day 2024 – Planet vs. Plastics

07/05/2024 News

Originally posted by Tera Tech.

With its theme of Planet vs. Plastics, Earth Day 2024 is championing a call for a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 and striving to build a plastic-free future.

The goals of Earth Day are: to raise awareness of the damage done by plastics to global biodiversity; to have the phasing out of single-use plastics by 2030 written into the United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution in 2024; to end fast fashion and its reliance on plastics; and to invest in technologies to build a plastic-free world.

It is with these goals in mind, that today we look at the work that the Clean Oceans Project Identification and Preparation (COPIP) programme is doing to address problems caused by the estimated 8 million tonnes of plastics that are discarded every year into the waterways and oceans in sub-Saharan Africa. Tetra Tech implements COPIP, which is funded by the European Investment Bank.

Source Separation of Waste Pilot Project in Mombasa

In March 2024, COPIP launched a pilot project in Mombasa, Kenya, to develop separation of waste at source capabilities in two of the city’s sub-counties. The project is engaging registered community-based organisations and private waste companies in Mombasa to support the separate collection of waste, material recovery and recycling. This pilot aims to test innovative ideas, build awareness and commitment, as well as develop proof-of-concept of selected solid waste management project components in coastal cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

At the launch of the pilot project – which is being implemented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – two electric and three petrol-powered tuk tuks, waste collection bins and bin liners for separate collection, personal protective equipment, and information sheets on how to sort waste at source were handed over to the beneficiaries. The launch was also attended by key representatives of the County Government of Mombasa, including Deputy Governor H.E. Francis Thoya and Chief Officer at the Department of Environment & Solid Waste Pauline Oginga, who lauded the opportunity that this project is giving Mombasa to set an example for sub-Saharan Africa.

Developing technology for a plastic-free world

The work in Mombasa complements the first COPIP pilot project TakaConnect, a regional app and website developed by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) to leverage technology in waste management. The app is a digital marketplace for segregated waste, connecting the different players in waste collection and recycling. The app is mapping and connecting the stakeholders, filtering them by county, by product (beyond plastics, they support rubber, cloth, metal and organic wastes).

Watch the video to learn more about TakaConnect from COPIP’s Kenneth Otieno, when he presented at the World Circular Economy Forum side event in November 2023, hosted by COPIP in Nairobi.

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