Reroute foreign aid to dumpsites in developing countries

Back to News
Plastic waste and pollution are making daily headlines around the globe. Some big names such as Sir David Attenborough and National Geographic have recently focussed the spotlight on the plastic waste that is plaguing the oceans and land.This attention is vital to educate the population about the harm that plastic is doing to the natural world. The problem with litter and pollution is a global one, but many developing countries seem to be worse off. The lack of government regulation and civilian participation in waste management and disposal is adding fuel to the fire in certain countries. South Africa’s waste management industry is growing, but some developing countries still need financial aid.

Reroute foreign aid to support waste management

While civilians and NGOs can put pressure on the local authorities in these countries, controlling litter and plastic waste requires input from everyone. However, one possible solution would be to reroute a portion of foreign aid to improve waste management.This additional cash boost would have a greater impact on waste management in developing countries where a little money can go a long way. It would be used to facilitate clean-up programmes and better collection and removal of waste. Landfills could be better contained, small-scale recycling facilities developed and waterways cleared of refuse and debris.This would reduce the volume of plastic entering the ocean from rivers and seaside landfills. Better waste management also reduced the spread of diseases and respiratory illnesses to communities living nearby heavily polluted areas.

International study on plastic waste

A UK-based study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Waste Managers and the NGO WasteAid reports that 70% of the ocean’s plastic can be attributed to mismanaged waste in developing countries. The study also suggests that two billion people live without waste management services and that three billion live without proper bins or adequate disposal facilities. Up to nine million people in developing countries die annually from diseases associated with pollutants and mismanaged waste.

Aligning with the UN’s goals

Using foreign aid to support waste management initiatives in developing countries is something that the IMF and World Bank could do. Dealing with waste at the source is the best solution to the global plastic crisis. The UN acknowledges the importance of proper treatment of waste in their Sustainable Development Goals.The UN supports the protection of land and water from pollution, as well as working to reduce poverty, improving healthcare and providing clean energy solutions. Developed nations in the UN assign billions of dollars every year to foreign aid, which only accounts for a fraction of their gross national income.If a slightly larger percentage of this aid was rerouted to waste management initiatives, the developing countries and the rest of the world would benefit considerably. It aligns with the UN’s goals of building a better future for humans and the environment. ___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment. ___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries. ___Follow us Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.