Through research and interviews we have managed to have an approximated idea of the current life cycle of plastic entering Njombe town.
Plastic enters Njombe in the form of products made of or containing plastic and packaging. Local companies distribute some of these products or use these plastic items to sell their products (e.g. local bottled water companies).
Local people buy and make use of plastic containing products. They often reuse some of these products, but at some point most of them are discarded to the environment, burnt in the domestic pits or brought to the dumpsite through the solid waste management collection system . For the latter the government charges a collection fee.
Plastic collectors take some of that plastic from the environment and from the dumpsite and sell it to a few local shredders who in turn, resell the crashed plastic to big scale plastic waste managers in Dar Es Salaam. Local shredders need to accumulate enough plastic waste to fill up a truck and make the trip to Dar Es Salaam economically beneficial.
In most cases plastic waste is not recycled in Dar Es Salaam but sent abroad. Since China stopped importing plastic waste new alternative markets have emerged.
What happens to plastic waste in these countries is beyond our knowledge.
This scheme generates certain challenges for local stakeholders:
|Local people||Access to limited products. Can we get what we really need?|
No incentive to sort out waste out
|Local companies||Access to expensive products from outside|
Access only to standardised components they require
|Government||Need to enforce waste management system|
Difficult segregation of impurities from organic
|Local plastic collectors |
|Business sustainability depends on external markets (China, India, etc.)|