Environmental organisations and groups are concerned that South Africa appears unwilling to support a proposed global treaty on plastic pollution, reports Mail & Guardian.
The revelation comes after a confidential draft position paper by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries were allegedly leaked. The leaked document reveals South Africa’s contentious view on the topic, as it believes that the “proliferation and duplication of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) should be avoided as they compete for limited resources from the same donors and duplicate efforts,” the document reads.
According to IOL and Greenpeace Africa’s Angelo Louw, the document goes on to reveal that the government may be contemplating importing plastic waste despite global outrage against using countries as dumping sites.
“We advise government to realise that it is not sustainable to sacrifice our future for the short-term needs of a few. Africa is leading the way in dealing with the plastic issue, SA should not be left behind, nor should they derail the process,” stated Louw.
Greenpeace Africa wasn’t the only environmental organisation to give its thoughts on the matter. AfriOceans founder Lesley Rochet had this to say:
“With SA as the 11th worst global offender for leaking land-based plastic into the ocean, we cannot afford not to embrace every opportunity of global collaboration, and therefore, need to support the new marine MEA to address this global crisis.”
However, DEFF spokesperson Albi Modise has stated that no decision has been made on the new international agreement from the United Nations Environmental Assembly regarding plastic waste, as per IOL.