WorldSenegal's "plastic man" fights against plastic waste in the streets of Dakar

Senegal’s “plastic man” fights against plastic waste in the streets of Dakar


AA / Dakar – Alex Sinhan Bogmis

Adam Fall, 52, living in the Cambrenne suburb of the capital Dakar, organizes talks and various events to raise awareness about environmental pollution and climate change.

Fall, who left his post in the army, is also president of the association “Sénégal Propre” which has been fighting since 2006 against the use of plastic waste.

Fall describes the evils of using plastic bags in the streets of Dakar with a note that reads “no plastic bag”, which he wears on his chest, in a costume made from plastic bags. , which drags to the ground.

Especially in local markets and crowded gathering places, the environmental activist collects plastic bags from citizens’ hands and hands them paper bags instead.

He then attaches the plastic bags taken from citizens’ hands to one of the hundreds of bags already collected.

“The plastic man” toured Soumbedioune beach and Colobane market, one of the busiest places in the capital, with the AA journalist, and discussed the use of plastic in the country.

– “We throw plastic in the ocean, and later we eat it”

Fall believes that the world does not take seriously the dangers posed by plastic waste, especially in Senegal, although the use of single-use plastic products has been banned since 2020, the public is not very aware of that question.

He noted that plastic waste invades Senegal over the days.

“I’ve been interested in environmental issues since 2005. One day I was like, ‘why don’t I go out on the streets and tell the public how dangerous this waste can be. use and even make plastic bags. It all started with that intention, “he said.

Modou Fall stressed that raising public awareness of this issue is not easy, and wishes to continue this momentum, adding that some people are listening to him, while others still do not believe in the dangerousness of plastic waste.

“The plastic bags we use are actually poison, which kills slowly. That’s what I’m trying to tell people. We throw plastic in the ocean, the fish eat it, then we eat the fish. It’s the same for small animals. They eat our plastic waste and we eat it, “said Modou Fall, who thinks people eat plastic without realizing it.

– “5 million plastic bags are used daily in the region from Dakar “

Modou Fall noted that the use of plastic bags is still very common despite the ban, adding that it is difficult to combat the use of plastic bags without developing an alternative to use instead.

“5 million plastic bags are used daily in the Dakar region alone, I leave it to you to calculate for the whole of Senegal. Each year, we use more than 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste, and 6,000 are recycled. The rest ends up in the sewers, our oceans and our streets, ”continued the environmental activist.

Modou Fall said he receives threats from people who are uncomfortable with his activism.

“Of course, there are many who are uncomfortable with the war I have opened against the use of plastic. After all, Senegal has an industry. After all, there is the industry of this sector in Senegal. Plastic bags are both produced and imported to Senegal. At one point, I realized that my life was in danger. Because everyone involved in the plastic bag industry hated me. . They accused me of playing with their pittance. But none of that stopped me from telling the truth. Plastic has done a lot of damage to this country, to this world. We must now understand it. instead of plastic bags, we can use paper or cloth bags. People living in such a polluted environment are less likely to be healthy, “he continued.

– There are 5 billion plastic in the oceans

According to a six-year study entitled “Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans” published in the journal “Plos ONE”, 5 billion plastic waste, weighing 268 thousand tons, is found in the world’s oceans.

73% of waste thrown on beaches is plastic, such as cigarette butts, PET bottles, food packaging.

Experts warn that if action is not taken, all seabirds will regularly eat plastic by 2050.

According to data from the Association “Sénégal Zéro Déchet”, Senegal is the 21st most polluting country in the world’s oceans.

The annual amount of waste produced per person in the country reaches 190 kilograms. Most of this waste is either incinerated or released into the environment.

Although single-use plastic products have been banned in Senegal since 2020, it seems very difficult to prevent the use of plastic bags, called “mbouss” in the local Wolof language.

. . (HAS), ..

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