The management of waste for sustainable development is of importance for many countries including Eswatini. From a global perspective, environmental pollution has become one of the key developmental challenges. Despite numerous educational campaigns on environmental sustainability, supported by international conventions and protocols on sustainable environmental practices, unhealthy and unsustainable waste practices have persisted.

Hon. Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati

On the 27th of October 2022, Eswatini Environment Authority in partnership with Women Unlimited and Institute of Waste Management in Eswatini through financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme hosted the Waste Indaba 2022 with the theme; “Transitioning To A Circular Economy: Addressing The Waste Management Nexus In Eswatini”.

Reclaiming and recycling companies, waste management companies, informal waste pickers, government ministries and parastatals, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, development partners participated in discussing issues related to the theme of the event. His Excellency The Right Honourable Prime Minister represented by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati presented the keynote address.

The objectives of the Waste Indaba were:

• To discuss latest methods in waste management and encourage innovation in order to promote sustainable and resilient livelihoods from waste management

• To highlight the importance of research in waste management throughout the waste value chain.

• To provide an exhibition opportunity for products and services across the waste value chain.

• To provide waste management stakeholders with a networking platform.

PRESENTERS & PRESENTATIONS

 

RESOLUTIONS

The following are resolution that came up from the discussions which included presenters, panelists and the participants. Participants at the Waste Indaba made the following resolutions:

Exploring the different approaches to phasing out single use plastic bags: Ban or Levy

• The decision to ban or levy single use plastic bags should be informed by baseline assessments, must be specific and targeted towards transitioning to circular economy

• If considering ban of single use plastics, we must avail affordable environmentally friendly context informed alternatives including ban exemptions and guidelines on what should be exempted

• There is a need to improve enforcement of existing legislation

• Introduce supportive legislation such as the levying the use of virgin plastic materials.

 

Circular economy in waste management: Challenges and opportunities for Eswatini

• The leadership of the Government and a strong political will is fundamental in transitioning into a circular economy.

• Improving the governance and regulatory framework for waste management is a key enabler for transitioning into a circular economy. Introduce practical and policy changes can be made to ensure an inclusive circular economy that helps Eswatini to achieve SDGs 8, 11, and 12.

• Conduct legislative review to identify gaps and integrate circular economy.

• Integrate the informal waste sector into the formal economy including alignment with circular economy target.

• Support transition from linear to circular economic production models.

• Support sustainable land use planning including settlement that promote the adoption of the circular economy vision.

• Invest in science and technology (R&D) to maximise diversion of waste from landfill towards value-adding opportunities, including prevention of waste and the optimised extraction of value from reuse, recycling and recovery, in order to create significant economic, social and environmental benefit.

• Support the creation of market linkages in the waste value chains with supportive infrastructure e.g. buyback centres, drop-off centres for waste recycling.

• Strengthen capacity development of stakeholders in the waste value chains including promoting IEC and targeted behaviour change approaches.

• Promoting greater involvement of the private sector and communities through PPP models/approaches, infrastructural development and financial sustainability through soliciting for grant funding or loans from development financial partners e.g. AfDB, WB etc

• Committing to reduce waste by not less than 50% by 2050.

 

Promoting Innovation in Waste Management

• Adopt circular economy approach to support the country to achieve its climate action target as per the SDG 13.

• Support innovative approaches which eliminate human error such as smart bins, garbage weighing, solar-powered trash compactors, recycling apps etc.

• Create opportunities including supporting local communities in innovation in circular economy interventions.

• Adapt and promote environmental friendly appropriate technologies

• Promote knowledge management including sharing of best practices in innovative circular economy approaches.

• Commit to stakeholders engagement and ensuring we are leaving no one behind.

• Strengthen coordination and collaboration to increase access to waste by waste reclaimers for waste diversion.

• Commit to the fair application of the Extended Producer Responsibility and Polluter Pays Principle (PPP)

• Promote sustainable and responsible procurement

• Support circular economy funding mechanism in sustainable waste management

• Commit to the 4Es: Expose, Empower, Engage and Enable innovative solutions to transition to circular economy.