In memory of the World Environment Day on 5 June, 2017, H. E. Dr. Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, launched the Reduction of Plastic Bags Consumption National Initiative. Tuning in with the international trend of reducing plastic bags and under the slogan “NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS”, the Ministry- together with its partners- are playing a major role in the mobilization and awareness raising of the Egyptian community to contribute in sparing Mother Nature the dangers of plastic bags. The launching event was attended by a wide range of media representatives, civil society entities, CEDARE, and the ministry’s top management and executives.
In his speech, H.E. Dr. Fahmy highlighted that the initiative adds to the continuous partnership between the ministry, the United Nations Environment Programme, and CEDARE, in the framework of SwitchMed Regional Programme, funded by the European Commission. “This green initiative, which is part of the sustainable consumption and production approach, has socio-economic and environmental dimensions. By merging environmental aspects with economy, Egypt will be ready to adopt green economy policies. It is, then, mandatory to turn such initiatives into policies combined within the state’s strategy in order to achieve the sought sustainable development”, stated Dr. Fahmy.
Dr. Hossam Allam, Manager of Sustainable Growth Programme, CEDARE, explained that Egypt consumes around 12 billion plastic bags annually, which destructively affects people’s health, the economy and the environment at large. People need to know that non-degradable plastic bags are a real threat to human health, fish & marine life, coral reefs, diving and environmental tourism, water drains, desert animals and more. “Our mission is to coordinate with large FMCG chains, hypermarkets, pharmacies, and clubs to join forces in influencing the Egyptians’ behavior decreasing the current consumption rate as a start, improving consumers’ attitude towards resources, and using an environment-friendly alternative bag via influential awareness campaigns and diverse activities”, said Dr. Allam.