Women in Malawi win Goldman Sachs Environmental Award for fighting single-use plastics

Gloria Majiga-Kamoto was named one of the six in 2021 Goldman Sachs Environmental Awards Winner last week.Malawi NGO staff launched a war against disposables plastic And the problems they caused for her country.

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Majiga-Kamoto, 30, said that when she was a girl, single-use plastic was not commonly used. “I remember that day when we went to the market to buy fish and other things, such as dried fish, you would see it in the newspaper,” she said. According to NPRBut in the past 10 years or so, the new manufacturer in this landlocked East African country has increased the production of disposable bags and thin plastics whose thickness is less than 60 microns. According to a report funded by the United Nations Development Programme in 2019, Malawi Approximately 75,000 metric tons of plastic are produced annually, 80% of which are disposable plastics.

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Majiga-Kamoto became aware of this problem while working for a local environmental NGO that provided goats to the countryside. FarmerThe idea is that farmers can use goat manure as organic fertilizer. But the goat’s love for local snacks has benefited them.

“We have this very ordinary street food. It is called plateAnd it’s really fried potatoes on the side of the road, wrapped in these little blue plastic,” Majiga-Kamoto said. “So because it is salty, once the goats taste the salt, they will eat the plastic. Because they can’t really tell that it is inedible. They will die because it blocks the ingestion system-there is no way to survive. “

As the goat died instead of reproducing, the program collapsed, and Majiga-Kamoto realized the problem with plastic bags. Not only do they kill goats, but fish and cows are also eating plastic.The unsightly plastic garbage dumps blocking her country’s waterways are breeding grounds disease-Carry mosquitoes and bacteria that cause cholera.

Therefore, Majiga-Kamoto led a group environmental They fought the powerful plastic manufacturing industry for several years before finally letting the Malawi High Court ban the use of single-use thin plastics in 2019.

The Goldman Sachs Environmental Award recognizes grassroots environmental leaders from all over the world. Michael Sutton, executive director of the Goldman Sachs Environmental Foundation, said of Majiga-Kamoto: “She assembled the army and grassroots communities to compete with the government and large industries and won many times. She not only won legally. Ban, and now it also requires the government to resolutely enforce the ban.”

+ Goldman Sachs Environmental Award

by NPR

Picture from Goldman Sachs Environmental Awards

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