By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT is concerned that the advent of Covid-19 has become an environmental challenge contributing to plastic pollution.
This has been witnessed by indiscriminate disposal of surgical masks, gloves and single use protective clothings, says Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Mushuma Mulenga.
Mr Mulenga regretted that the Covid-19 pandemic had not only been a health and economic challenge but also an environmental challenge contributing to plastic pollution.
Due to the pandemic, he explained, Government had witnessed indiscriminate disposal of surgical masks, gloves and single use protective clothings.
He said this yesterday during the 2021 World Consumer Rights Day Virtual Conference celebrated under the theme “Tackling Plastic Pollution and Consumer Protection amid the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.”
“In this regard, to mitigate some of the effects of plastic pollution, Government has put in place mandatory manufacture and use of bio degradable plastic carrier bags and legalised extended producer responsibility.
“However, there is still need to extend these measures to consumers for sustainable plastic consumption,” Mr Mulenga said.
He expressed confidence that the virtual conference would provide a discourse geared towards sharing best practice in tackling plastic pollution and consumer protection amidst the covid-19 pandemic especially that consumerism is gravitated towards the digital economy.
“I therefore wish to encourage everyone, the session lead, panellist and delegates to fully engage in the discussions and help provide a rich discourse,” Mr Mulenga said.