Plastic constitutes six percent of waste in Egypt. Image of crushed PET bottles - Matthewdikmans via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 7 June 2017: The Ministry of Environment launched an initiative to curb the use of plastic bags on Tuesday; Egyptians consume 12 billion plastic bags per year.
Egypt’s waste output is 16.2 million tons, of which plastic represents six percent, according to Nagwa El Maanawy, head of the Egyptian Plastic Technology Center that is affiliated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. That’s the equivalent of 970,000 tons of plastic waste, of which 45 percent is recycled and only five percent reused.
Maanawy told Egypt Today that 50 percent of plastic garbage are not sorted out and instead are incinerated, which is harmful to the environment.
The ministry has partnered up with the United Nations and CEDARE (Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Regions and Europe) to carry out the initiative, which also falls under the umbrella of Switch Mid. The EU-funded project was launched in light of the global tendency to reduce consumption of plastic bags.