By Style Reporter
A local humanitarian organisation, the Zivhu Foundation has launched an ambitious programme to phase out the use of plastic bags in Zimbabwe by manufacturing and distributing non-woven packaging in line with resolutions at the recently held COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland which called for aggressive action to tackle plastic pollution in the world.
The UN Climate Conference (COP 26) called on countries to take urgent action to cut the use of plastics, which are polluting global oceans, harming wildlife and ending up in the food that people eat.
It is against this background that the Zivhu Foundation took the initiative to manufacture and distribute non-woven bag materials to protect the environment in Zimbabwe.
Founder of the Zivhu Foundation, Killer Zivhu said plastic bags pose a hazard to the environment and many countries in Africa such as Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania have already gone green by stopping the use of single use plastic bags.
He said in many areas, animals such as dogs, cattle and donkeys were dying from eating dumped plastics.
“The non-woven bags are going to solve some of these problems because they easily decay and become manure and can burn without toxic contaminant,” Zivhu said.
He said the non-woven bags manufactured and distributed by the Zivhu foundation were more convenient, durable and reusable while also being cheaper than the traditional plastic bags.
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“President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s Vision 30 talks of the need to have Smart Cities,” Zivhu said.
“We cannot achieve the vision of Smart Cities if we continue using plastic bags. Non-woven packaging will help us achieve the concept of Smart Cities because these are bio-degradable and will not litter the environment like plastics.”
He said part of the proceeds from selling the non-woven bags will go towards cleaning up cities, towns and growth points where illegal dumpsites have sprouted in almost every street.
“If you move around in the various cities and towns and even growth points you will see that there are a lot of illegal dumpsites on almost every street where people dump plastic bags, sanitary wear and diapers,” Zivhu said.
“We want to work with the government, the Environmental Management Agency and the different local authorities to help clean-up these illegal dumpsites so that we have a clean environment.”
He said plastic bags were solid waste pollutants which may carry people’s belongings today, but eventually end up dogging drains, floating in oceans or sitting in landfills and waste sites.
Non-woven fabric on the other hand is made from fibre bonded together by chemical, mechanical or solvent treatment.
The main raw material for non-woven fibre is vegetables with cotton being the most important vegetable fibre used to produce non-woven bonded fabric.
In May 2021, a UN report warned that the impact of plastic production on the global climate this year will be equivalent to the production of 189 coal-fired power plants, and that if nothing is done, it could account for up to 13% of the planet’s total carbon budget by 2050 (i.e. 615 power plants!).