Way too much waste in Africa

If Africans don't look at the waste they are producing, the continent will be producing more than double it did in 2012 by 2025.

24 February 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Yolanda Nel



Current trends indicate that Africa's waste generation is expected to reach more than 240 million tonnes per year by 2025 – almost double that of 2012.

These findings were published in the 2018 Africa Waste Management Outlook report by the United Nations Environment Programme and partners. Linda Godfrey, coordinating lead author on the report, said that population growth, urbanisation, economic development and global trade play vital roles as drivers of waste generation.

“The urban population in Africa has been rising steadily over time. It was estimated at 455 million in 2014 and around 472 million in 2015 and is increasing at a rate of 3.55% per year,” the report reads. It also states that although only 40% of Africa's population live in urban areas, it is urbanising faster than other regions.

On the economic development front, the majority of African countries aspire to achieve middle-income country status by 2025. Considering that in Africa, children under the age of 25 account for 60% of the population, rapid economic growth is inevitable. “The number of young Africans entering the workforce is estimated at between 10 and 12 million per annum which is much higher than the estimated 3.1 million jobs created.”



Daily waste

Figures show that in 2012, an estimated 125 million tonnes of waste a year was produced in Africa, of which 81 million tonnes was from sub-Saharan Africa. The average per capita waste generation in Africa in 2012 was 0.78 kg per day, with considerable spatial differences in the amount of waste generated. It ranged from as low as 0.09 kg per day in some countries to as high as 2.98 kg per day in others. In Namibia, the waste generated was estimated at less than 0.6 kg per day. It is projected that this figure will grow to 1kg of waste per day within the next six years.

The composition of Namibia's waste is mostly organic at 48% and includes food scraps, yard waste like leaves and grass, as well as process residues. Although making up almost half of the country's waste, it is relatively lower than the continent's average organic waste of 62.8%. The country's plastic waste contributes to 11% of its waste, almost 3% more than the average of Africa. While Namibians on average might be using more plastic than other African countries, Namibia Polymer Recyclers, situated in Okahandja, recycled 1 568 tons of plastic waste last year. This recycled material is used in various production facilities across Namibia, producing various plastic products.

Residents across the country support the initiative and the hope is to set up more recycling plants throughout the country. “We are investigating mobile recycling stations,” said Janine Briedenham of Plastic Packaging, on their Facebook page.

Similar News

 

‘Special agents’ used in fight against cacti

1 week ago - 05 September 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Tanja BauseFor the first time in 30 years, two insect species were released in Windhoek with the aim of reducing two invasive cacti...

Agriculture in harmony with nature

4 weeks ago - 18 August 2019 | Environment

“Sustainability so often has negative connotations,” says Fabian von Hase. He finds the term “ecological health” more fitting.“Sustainable means that we do less harm to...

Prickly intruders

4 weeks ago - 18 August 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Theresa Lang Gunhild Voigts carries gardening tools with her wherever she goes. Peek in her car and you will find rakes, saws and...

Be aware!

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Environment

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism together with partners, kick-started awareness activities for the National Clean-Up Day with a clean-up campaign and awareness session targeting...

‘Help save the planet!’

1 month - 11 August 2019 | Environment

Earthlife Namibia urges schools to turn Fridays into days of marching to Parliament and handing over petitions, to raise awareness on saving the planet.In a...

More help for roadworks

1 month - 11 August 2019 | Environment

FNB Namibia's Tourism Division donated N$10 000 toward the Etosha road project aimed at grading, ripping, and if needed, filling roads in the park for...

Nuwe tegnologie in stroperstryd

1 month - 04 August 2019 | Environment

Renosterstropery is 'n baie ernstige probleem, met meer as 1 000 renosters wat volgens die internasionale organisasie Save the Rhino per jaar vanaf 2013 tot...

Working towards a cleaner ­Namibia

1 month - 28 July 2019 | Environment

Walvis Bay • Leandrea Louw The National Solid Waste Management Advisory Panel held a meeting in Walvis Bay to discuss the proposed establishment of a...

AquaVitae Project studies kick off

1 month - 21 July 2019 | Environment

Over the next four years, scientists from different corners of the globe will work together to increase aquaculture production of low-trophic species in and around...

B(r)agging rights!

1 month - 21 July 2019 | Environment

As from next month, Cymot is “going green” by introducing a new carrier bag that is made from 100% Namibian recycled material in all branches...

Latest News

Lewcor buys Elizabeth Bay Mine

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Namdeb today announced that it sold its Elizabeth Bay Mine and associated marine assets as a going concern to a member of the Lewcor Group,...

New owner for Bytes Technology

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Altron Rest of Africa (Altron ROA), a division of JSE-listed technology company Altron, announced the sale of a minority stake in its subsidiary, Bytes Technology...

Hey millennials, listen up!

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Economics

About 30 years ago, purchasing property was a no-brainer. However, millennials have been taught to question everything, including whether real estate is the best investment...

This boy is on fire

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Sports

Yolanda Nel With two older brothers that are well-known in the spinning community, it is no wonder their younger brother is following in their footsteps....

Going for gold

2 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Banking

Last night, Bank Windhoek launched their Selekt Gold offering with the aim of providing the market with a relevant, holistic financial solution.The Selekt Gold offering...

Barok uit die boonste rakke

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Art and Entertainment

’n Orrelkonsert met die musiek van Bach, Handel en Corelli is Vrydag, 27 September in die Christuskirche te hoor, wanneer die Suid-Afrikaanse konsertorrelis en vakkundige...

The world is your (shopping)...

3 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Business

After introducing the DHL Africa eShop app in April this year, it is now also available in Namibia.Since its launch, the app has seen its...

Think pink!

3 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

Breast and cervical cancers remain a serious concern in Namibia, with 2 474 cases of breast cancer that have been reported to the National Cancer...

Commemorate together

3 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

World Lymphoma Awareness Day is commemorated on 15 September every year and is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer....

Load More