July 3, world day “without plastic”, passed unnoticed in Kinshasa

4 July 2017
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The world is celebrating the international “plastic-free” day on July 3rd. However, this day, which would have been for the Kinois, a great opportunity for reflection on the improvement of their environments, went unnoticed over the whole Congolese capital.

For this great metropolis, where there is a serious problem of waste management and precisely household waste, constituted in most cases of sachets, no initiative was observed on July 3rd throughout the city.

A date practically unknown to the Kinois and Kinoises. However, this day was declared by the United Nations. And according to the story, everything started from the 1865s in the United States, where plastics were invented.

The plastic bag, commonly called the sachet in the DRC, is made from petroleum derivatives. It was invented to replace billiard balls that became too expensive. And since those years, there is not a single day that passes without using the plastic bag.

However, it has a double disadvantage effect. On the one hand, it is very little biodegradable and, on the other hand, it disperses at the expense of wind and currents.

Like any object, the plastic bag has advantages and disadvantages. Among these benefits, let’s say it is lighter than glass. It is a major asset for the manufacture of bottles. Its solidity, robustness and cost, more affordable than glass or metal, make it increasingly popular in Congolese households. Its lifespan, its versatility, its modernity, the most obvious example of which is the mobile phone, also its practical side are all advantages that it presents to its users.

However, as disadvantages, the plastic bag has a long shelf life. This is taken as an advantage and a disadvantage for future generations who will suffer the impact of plastic packaging on the environment. Its chemical components are being decried at the moment. And bisphenol A is at the center of all scientific discussions about its toxicity. Finally, scientifically proven, the plastic bag causes the increase in some cancers that would be due to plastic particles, which degrade over time.

To preserve nature, plastic bags must be replaced by reusable and recyclable bags, or even by paper packaging, even if they are not a panacea. Because soon there will be a problem with oil. Knowing that without oil this energy will disappear.

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