Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad has highlighted her ministry’s cooperation efforts with partners, particularly among youth and civil society, to implement awareness campaigns to reduce single-use plastic bags.
Fouad’s remarks came during a speech delivered at the fourth Sustainable Development Impact Summit organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
During her speech, the minister noted that Egypt has gone through several stages as part of its endeavour to limit the use of single-use plastic bags in the country. She also said that Egypt had adopted the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, and the Integrated Management Plan for Beaches and Reducing Pollution.
According to a statement from the ministry, 55 awareness campaigns have been implemented in several cities across Egypt, including campaigns to ban single-use plastic bags in Hurghada and South Sinai.
The Ministry of Environment used the precautionary measures put in place for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as an opportunity to implement campaigns to clean beaches in the Red Sea. These campaigns included cleaning the seabed, and were undertaken in cooperation with divers and diving entities working along the Red Sea coasts.
The minister also highlighted the Egyptian government’s efforts in this regard, with a special committee established to develop a road map to limiting the use of single-use plastic bags. The committee’s efforts in improving the environment included high-level cooperation between the Ministries of Health, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, and Finance.
Fouad said that the challenges in limiting the use of plastics require that suitable alternatives are provided, in addition to providing the right technologies
“They are linked to global challenges and finding a balanced financing mechanism that is fair and clear for both developing and developed countries within the framework of the sustainable development goals that we seek to achieve,” Fouad said.
She further highlighted the need to provide a clear and sustainable financing mechanism to eliminate this challenge.
The minister also noted the importance of building national capacities and awareness in this field, in addition to including the banking sector and encouraging the transition to green work in line with global trends.