|Hele Pierre, MINEPDED|
Talking in Bamenda on Thursday, March 13, 2014, during a public sensitization on the effects of producing, burning, dumping and using plastic papers, the chief of the service in charge of Toxic and Hazardous Waste at the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Lemnyuy William, disclosed that over 6 million tons of waste are produced in Cameroon every year and 10% of the waste is comprised of plastic papers. He said plastic papers do not only make the environment dirty but also cause cancer when burnt or used to wrap food among others. “Moreover, we discourage nursing mothers from using plastic feeding -bottles to feed their babies because babies fed from such bottles run the risk cancer and malnutrition”, he added.
In corroborating the assertions of Lemnyuy William, Palouma the Director of Hazardous Waste and chemical products management from MINEPDEP Yaounde opined that plastic papers can remain in the soil for between 100 and 400 years before decomposing. He stressed that plastic papers have been identified as the most dangerous material to the environment because they cause pollution, cancer, floods and make the environment dirty.
The public was ipso facto, advised to use alternatives like raffia bags, non- plastic papers and even banana leaves to wrap food…as is done across the country in tying “Achu” and “Bobolo” among many others.
While insisting that the fight against plastic papers is not only an issue for the Ministry of the Environment, the Director stressed that government will as from April 2014 begin cracking down on defaulters especially those producing, distributing, and importing plastic papers. He said defaulters will have to pay 50 Million FCFA.
By Muketi Kah in Bamenda