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Ethiopia: government promotes recycling to battle plastic pollution

A waste picker sorts through plastic bottle waste at the Dandora garbage dump where people scavenge through the landfill for re-usables and recyclables that can be re-sold.   -  
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From the Awi zone of the Amhara region of Ethiopia to Addis Ababa, a crew composed of a few men acquire plastic bottles from collectors and prep the items, by separating the bottles from their caps for recycling, actively contributing to end plastic pollution in the east African country.

Early in the morning, city-appointed workers collect garbage in various parts of Addis Ababa.

Despite their best efforts, garbage collection is complex due to various factors, such as residents not sorting and disposing of their garbage correctly.

‘"We are actively contributing to a cleaner environment and generating income opportunities for collectors. We purchase the plastics they collect and then resell them, sorting them by colour, for anyone who requires them," said Sebdana Workicho, 21, used plastic materials' buyer.

Addis Ababa, home to the headquarters of the African Union, and numerous international organisations, has long grappled with waste management issues.

Plastic waste, in particular, has become a major concern, with parts of the city often marred by garbage, especially plastic bags and bottles.

"Most of the plastic bottles are being properly recycled, but the issue with plastic bags persists. There are regulations in place regarding plastic bags, it is prohibited to produce, sell, or import plastic bags that are below the designated thickness specified by the rules. These days, when plastic bags are imported, their thickness is inspected by the environmental protection authority. If the thickness falls below the permitted limit, it will not be allowed for entry into the country. Local production of such plastic bags is also prohibited, but there are individuals who attempt to do it covertly. When they are discovered, they face consequences," according to Seid Abdela, director of climate change and renewable energy department, Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Administration.

Addis Ababa's waste management is in the hands of the Environment Protection Administration.

This administration is dedicated to various aspects of environmental protection, with a mission to make the city cleaner and greener.

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