One of the alternative shopping bags presented to citizens in on the local markets by Red Sea governorate and HEPCA after applying the single-use plastic bags ban in the governorate on 1 July 2019 (Photo:HEPCA)
Fouad reviewed the goals of the national strategy to reduce the negative impact of the massive consumption of plastic bags on health, the environment, economy, and society, a cabinet statement read.
As part of the strategy, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed to implement the Okeanos Egypt project to produce alternatives to plastics via calcium-carbonate-based technology, dubbed 'Made from Stone'.
The Egyptian environment ministry, the International Company for Petroleum, and Industrial Services (INCOM) and Okeanos International Company signed the MoU.
The strategy, Fouad said, is set to be implemented in cooperation between the ministries of trade and industry, environment, health, international cooperation, local development, tourism, finance, and supply and internal trade.
Egypt has a plastic waste problem, with at least 970,000 tons of plastic waste produced annually, according to media statements in 2018 by the Egyptian Plastic Technology Centre, affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In June 2019, the Red Sea governorate banned the use of single-use plastic bags in businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, groceries, butchers, fisheries, and pharmacies as well as on safari trips and boats. It also banned the use of plastic knives, cups, dishes, and hooks, allowing only black garbage bags made of plastic.
Following in the footsteps of the Red Sea governorate, South Sinai's Dahab announced in July 2021 banning the use of plastic bags across the city.
Alexandria followed suit in April 2022.
Other campaigns were recently launched in several cities to encourage citizens to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.
Tarek El-Araby, director of the Medical and Electronic Waste Management Project at the Ministry of Environment, said during the meeting on Sunday that measures were being taken to limit the use of single-use plastic bags.
He added that campaigns for raising awareness on the environment have been launched in the Red Sea and other governorates to shed light on the negative impacts of using plastic bags on the land, marine life, and human health.
In 2020, Fouad launched “Live Green” initiative to spread environmental awareness.
The country is also pressing ahead with efforts to adapt eco-friendly systems in various sectors.
In May, Madbouly announced the launch of the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050 that is built on five pillars, on top of them are achieving sustainable economic growth and low-emissions development in various sectors.
Egypt is also speeding up to complete a series of environmentally friendly projects ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP27, which is slated for November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.