Eswatini Waste Indaba 2022

The Waste Indaba 2022 Women Unlimited Eswatini in partnership with the Eswatini Environment Authority and the Institute of Waste Management in Eswatini through financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted the Eswatini Waste Indaba 2022. The Eswatini Waste Indaba was held on October 27 2022, at Sibane Sami Hotel with […]

Written By Thobekile Masilela

On November 7, 2022
Communications Specialist.

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The Waste Indaba 2022

Women Unlimited Eswatini in partnership with the Eswatini Environment Authority and the Institute of Waste Management in Eswatini through financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted the Eswatini Waste Indaba 2022. The Eswatini Waste Indaba was held on October 27 2022, at Sibane Sami Hotel with the theme; Transitioning To A Circular Economy: Addressing The Waste Management Nexus In Eswatini. This is an event that was focused on addressing the waste management challenges facing the country.

The main objectives of the Indaba were to engage stakeholders, discuss the latest methods in waste management, encourage innovation in waste management for sustainable and resilient livelihoods, highlight the importance of research in waste management throughout the value chain, provide waste management stakeholders with a networking platform, and provide an exhibition opportunity for products and services across the waste value chain.

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

Waste Management is an issue that affects every country in the world. Eswatini is no exception; the country has grappled with waste management for years. The country’s waste management system has been under pressure due to the rapidly growing population and increasing urbanization.

The purpose of the waste Indaba was to bring together stakeholders to address these challenges and find sustainable solutions. The Indaba brought focus on topics such as Circular economy in waste management in Eswatini: Challenges and opportunities, Ban or Levy: Exploring the different approaches to phasing out single-use plastic bags and Promoting Innovation in Waste Management and sustainable waste management practices. The Indaba provided a platform for stakeholders to share their experiences, best practices, and ideas for moving Eswatini to a circular economy. It facilitated dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders to develop practical solutions to the waste management challenges in the country.

The Waste Indaba featured keynote speakers, panel discussions and interactive exhibitions. These keynote speakers included experts in the field of waste management, who provided insights on the latest technologies and best practices in waste management.

The panel discussions brought together experts from different sectors to discuss a path Eswatini should take in legislation for plastic waste to impose a ban/levy. The exhibitions allowed participants to engage with people on the ground in waste management and learn about practical solutions to waste management challenges that can improve livelihoods and save the environment.

The Eswatini Waste Indaba 2022 contributed to developing the waste management sector in the country by providing solutions and a way forward in formulating laws around waste. Waste Management is an essential aspect of sustainable development, and the Indaba has provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss and find sustainable solutions to waste management challenges. It has also created opportunities for collaboration and partnerships between stakeholders.

The following are recommendations that came up from the discussions which included presenters, panellists and participants.

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 that must be specific and targeted towards transitioning to a circular economy
  • If considering a ban on 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 the enforcement of existing legislation
  • Introduce supportive legislation such as 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 that can be made to ensure an inclusive circular economy that helps Eswatini to achieve SDGs 8, 11, and 12.
  • Conduct a legislative review to identify gaps and integrate a circular economy.
  • Integrate the informal waste sector into the formal economy including alignment with the circular economy target.
  • Support transition from linear to circular economic production models.
  • Support sustainable land use planning including settlement that promotes the adoption of the circular economy vision.
  • Invest in science and technology (R&D) to maximise the diversion of waste from landfills towards value-adding opportunities, including prevention of waste and the optimised extraction of value from reuse, recycling and recovery, to create significant economic and social and environmental benefits.
  • Support the creation of market linkages in the waste value chains with supportive infrastructure e.g. buyback centres, and 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 a circular economy approach to support the country in achieving its climate action target as per 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 environmentally friendly appropriate technologies
  • Promote knowledge management, including sharing best practices in innovative circular economy approaches.
  • Commit to stakeholders’ engagement and ensure 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 mechanisms in sustainable waste management
  • Commit to the 4Es: Expose, Empower, Engage and Enable innovative solutions to transition to a circular economy.

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