Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt, Masaki Noke, have held discussions on reducing the use of single-use plastic bags in Egypt.
The project will take place in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE).
The meeting aimed to set a clear roadmap to help Egypt take the practical steps to reduce single-use plastic bags and shift to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
It also aimed to provide decision-makers with a framework clarifying the current situation and the available capabilities and planned goals. It is anticipated that this framework will help formulate decisions that lead to practical steps reducing single-use plastic bags.
During the meeting, Fouad emphasised that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has emphasised the urgency of reducing the dependence on single-use plastics due to their harmful effects on health and the environment.
The minister also pointed out that there is currently no unified scenario that countries can rely on to limit single-use plastic bags. Instead, each country puts in place regulations depending on what suits its geographical, social and economic conditions.
She explained that the recent campaign, set up by the Ministry of Environment, to clean up Red Sea beaches saw 14 tonnes of waste, including plastic waste, removed from the sea. The campaign, in cooperation with divers in the Red Sea area, was implemented in the 10 days leading up to the resumption of tourism in Egypt.