News ID: 91492
Publish Date : 20 June 2021 - 21:42

GAZA STRIP (Dispatches) – More than a month after the Zionist regime’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, construction workers in the coastal enclave are still removing the rubble caused as a result the military carnage that left more than 250 Palestinians dead.
But although the debris is now one of Gaza’s main headaches, the enclave is facing yet another problem, that of excessive amounts of plastic waste that only grow bigger with time. In 2018, for example, Gaza’s two million people produced nearly 800 tonnes of waste a day, 12 percent of which came from plastic.
Two years down the line, the daily amount of waste already stood at 2,000 tonnes and Sami Al Naffar, an expert on plastic in the coastal enclave, says the situation is rapidly getting out of hand.
“We can see plastic waste everywhere: in the streets, houses, schools, factories - you name it. Needless to say, the presence of high quantities of this material is dangerous for people and the environment”.
Plastic waste has long been linked to different sorts of cancers, and in an enclave where the disease is already a challenge, the surge in plastic waste has only made the situation worse. It’s also dealt a severe blow to the Strip’s already poor environmental conditions.
“The way we tackle the plastic problem in Gaza is that we either bury or burn it. Needless to say, it ends up reaching our soil, air, and water causing environmental and health hazards”.
The entire area of the Gaza Strip, which is made up of some 370 square kilometers, is serviced by ten municipalities and a Joint Service Council that collectively have a staff of some 1,200 individuals. They also own nearly 500 donkey carts, 76 waste collection vehicles, and 23 other machines, including compactors and loaders. In addition, the area is serviced by two recycling plants but experts have long warned that these are “hardly enough”.
Most efforts to contain the problem have largely been futile partially because of the lack of resources, and partially due to the Zionist regime’s blockade imposed in 2007.
Many NGOs have taken matters into their own hands, setting up initiatives and private companies that recycle plastic.
According to reports, the Gaza Strip now boasts more than 20 such initiatives that turn plastic waste into other products that are later sold to 75 factories, who, in turn, use them to produce toys, water hoses, chairs, or other items.

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