Water, food and environmental experts have called for urgent collective action to reduce plastic, eliminate waste and ensure food and water security – IFAT AFRICA.
With a growing global challenge of water scarcity and up to 35 billion tons of plastic predicted to be in circulation by 2035, the stakeholders noted – as a matter of urgency – the need to take action.
“Over 8.5 billion tons of plastic has been produced, and if we continue at the rate we are going, it is estimated that over 35 billion tons could be in circulation by 2035,” said Ranjt Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation.
“Plastic remains a massive challenge for mankind, and it won’t just go away. We need collective efforts and the right legislation to ensure that we reduce single use plastic and produce only plastics that are recyclable,” he added.
The experts and several multi-disciplinary stakeholders gathered in Johannesburg to attend the just concluded IFAT Africa fair in order to collaborate on more sustainable solutions for water, waste and effluent on the continent.
Africa’s water resources are under pressure as a result of increased growth in population, rapid urbanization, pollution, mining and climate change. As such, re-framing effluent as a resource rather than a waste stream is a potential way to generate ‘new water’ and could spell the solution for water- stressed Sub-Sahara Africa.
With the pollution of groundwater and rivers in mining sector, this year’s theme focused on the treatment of industrial waste water where technical solutions to tackle the escalating challenge of Acid Mine Drainage from abandoned and unregulated mines were showcased.
The trade fair which was held from July 9 to 11, 2019, attracted more than 200 exhibitors who showcased their technological solutions and innovations to potential partners. A series of capacity building workshops on a variety of practical topics were also hosted.