Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad has witnessed the signing ceremony of the project document to support circular economy practices in the single-use plastic value chain in Egypt between the Environmental Affairs Agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO as a grant of $3.2m.
The ceremony was attended by Oka Hiroshi, the Japanese ambassador in Cairo, and Ali Abu Sunna, the Head of the Environmental Affairs Agency, Tariq Al-Arabi, Head of the Waste Management Regulatory Agency, and Ahmed Rizk, the Deputy Resident Representative and Supervisor of the UNIDO Office in Egypt.
During the ceremony, the Minister of Environment thanked the government of Japan for the continuous support for environmental work in Egypt, and for producing a project document to support circular economy practices in the single-use plastic value chain in Egypt, whether with experts or technology.
She explained that the project is the result of years of hard work towards reducing the consumption of single-use plastic products in Egypt, in cooperation with UNIDO, to support the Waste Management Regulatory Authority and the Environmental Affairs Agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment.
The minister added that the project comes at a critical time for the world in terms of challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and pollution control, in parallel with the implementation of the national strategy to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, and the implementation of a number of initiatives that began in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags and to cooperate with several partners.
She also pointed out that this project can be repeated in neighbouring countries, especially at the Mediterranean level.
The minister added that the project will support the Egyptian government’s efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste that leaks into the environment by demonstrating a greener alternative approach, as technical assistance will be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises, and work to raise awareness of existing sustainable plastic production and consumption patterns among stakeholders, producers and consumers.
She pointed out that the project promotes the application of the circular economy and the preservation of the environment, with a focus on integrating the private sector and small and medium enterprises into this system, which will bear fruit on economic development in Egypt.
For his part, the Japanese ambassador stressed that the project is one of the executive mechanisms that seek to build on the outputs of the COP27, which highlighted the challenge of confronting plastic pollution.