South Africans have been urged to recycle, especially plastic, to prevent it from ending up in the sea and destroying the marine population.
The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries made the call as the world commemorates International Plastic Bag-Free Day.
The day is a unique opportunity to spread the word that a plastic bag-free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.
“Plastic bags have adverse effects on the environment and it has become evident that plastic products, such as plastic carrier bags and single-use plastic bags, contribute to marine pollution,” a statement by the committee said on Wednesday.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has a National Waste Management Strategy aimed at minimising the amount of waste generated and going to landfills to unlock economic opportunities.
“This promotes a recycling economy ethos through various recycling and waste beneficiation initiatives. These initiatives need to be expanded and grown on a larger commercial scale to offer more value to beneficiaries and enterprise-support programmes in the informal sector,” the committee said.
The committee said there is a need to develop a policy instrument to phase out plastic straws and to manage single-use plastic products in a manner that will protect the environment, while not impacting negatively on the economy and in a manner that will prevent job losses in affected industries. – SAnews.gov.za