Plastic Waste Problem Getting Out of Hand in Gaza, And It Won’t Vanish Anytime Soon – Here’s Why

The Gaza Strip only has two recycling plants and more than 20 initiatives that turn plastic waste into other products. But for an area with two million people and 2,000 tonnes of garbage a day that is definitely not enough.

More than a month after Israel’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” ended, construction workers in Gaza are still removing the rubble caused as a result the military campaign that left more than 250 Palestinians dead.

Growing Problem

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.

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 entire area of the Gaza Strip, which is made up of some 370 square kilometres, 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…

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