Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad has addressed the national strategy to limit single-use plastic in the country.
The minister’s remarks on the subject came as she chaired the meeting of the National Committee to Limit the Use of Single-Use Plastic Bags, in the presence of representatives from ministries and relevant authorities.
The meeting aimed to review the final draft of the national strategy to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, in preparation for submission to the Cabinet for its approval.
During the meeting, Fouad stressed the importance of involving all concerned groups in society, including youth, civil society organisations, and the private sector, to successfully achieve the strategy’s objectives.
The minister pointed out that the reduction in plastic bag usage will be gradual during the coming periods. The Ministry of Environment is working with the Ministries of Finance, and Planning and Economic Development, to provide green incentives packages in the short-, medium- and long-term, which will be gradually adopted.
“Alternatives to plastic are not only products, but alternative behaviours and practices for consumers and merchants,” she said.
The meeting also reviewed the national strategy’s pathways to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, including laws, legislation, and capacity-building. This will focus on the ability to plan and review materials involved in the use of plastic.
Moreover, the meeting addressed awareness programmes, and the target schedule during the period from 2021 to 2030. This aims to reduce the rate of plastic use by 20% each year, so that the individual consumption reaches 90 bags annually.
Fouad said that there are many foreign-funded projects working in this field in Egypt, including on coastal marine and environmental systems, such as those supported by: the World Bank; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Projects proposed by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) are currently being studied to strengthen the value chains for waste recycling, support local recycling, and increase the treatment of plastic waste.