Government has reaffirmed its commitments towards ensuring mutual business-consumer relations that promotes both industrial and economic growth.
Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Mushuma Mulenga says his Ministry is putting in place measures that will halt challenges such as plastic pollution and indiscriminate disposal of masks resulting from COVID-19 which has left a negative impact on commerce and trade.
Mr Mulenga explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only been a health and economic challenge but also an environmental challenge contributing to plastic pollution.
He disclosed that due to the pandemic the country has witnessed indiscriminate disposal of surgical masks, gloves and single use protective clothing’s.
ZANIS REPORTS that the Permanent Secretary made the remarks when he virtually launched the World Consumer Rights Day in Lusaka today.
“This year’s commemoration is being held under the theme “Tackling Plastic Pollution and Consumer Protection amid the COVID-19 Global Pandemic”. We are celebrating this year’s World Consumer Rights Day amidst two challenges, specifically the COVID-19 pandemic and plastic pollution. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only been a health and economic challenge but also an environmental challenge contributing to plastic pollution. Due to the pandemic we have witnessed indiscriminate disposal of surgical masks, gloves and single use protective clothing’s,” he said.
To mitigate some of the effects of plastic pollution, Mr Mulenga stated that government has put in place mandatory manufacturing and use of bio degradable plastic carrier bags and legalized extended producer responsibility.
He was however quick to mention that there is still need to extend the measures to consumers for sustainable plastic consumption.
And Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) says it has put in place a vigorous fight against plastic pollution in the country.
ZEMA Principal Inspector for waste management Perine Kasonde said consumers and producers are being sensitized about the dangers of indiscriminate disposal of waste.
Ms Kasonde ZEMA is encouraging the use of bio-degradable plastic bags in order to protect the environment from non-biodegradable materials.
She further explained that the agency is encouraging consumers to use bags when going for shopping in order to discourage regular purchase of plastic bags.
Zambia today has joined the rest of the World in Commemorating World Consumer Rights Day under the theme ‘Tackling Plastic Pollution and Consumer Protection amid the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.