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General News of Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Ban On Non-Degradable Plastics - Timen for All-Round Sensitisation!

All things being equal, Cameroon will beat farewell to the production of plastic bags in three months from now, precisely on April 1, 2014. A decision by the Minister of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development puts an end to the exercise nationwide.

In fact, the Ministerial decision is just a wakeup call given that the decision to put an end to the production of plastic material and their usage in packaging food items was taken as far back as October 24, 2012. Analysts say it was orchestrated by disturbing results of a survey undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development a year earlier indicating that 58 per cent of the population in Cameroon discharge their plastic waste in the open air, notably along the streets, in gutters, farmlands, and in dustbins with untold nefarious effects to wildlife, human health and the environment.

Given the importance of the papers to national life, government's alternative is the production of bio-degradable material from paper, wood and plant leaves. The switch obviously calls for serious preparation reason why government gave much time to industries involved in the production of plastic material to readjust and readapt their installations to the new dispensation.

Knowledge, they say, is power. Now that the deadline is near, there is need for an all-round sensitisation using all communication means to aptly touch the audience. Radio and television stations, print and electronic media abound in the country. There are even community radios that reach out to the local population in the local languages. Flyers and billboards have also proven to be effective means of conveying messages likewise churches and other gatherings. Authorities have a medley of opportunities to fast-track campaign against their use and move towards threats if people refuse to adhere. And there is no time to waste. Action is now!