EGYPT: $3,2m from Jica to step up plastic pollution control

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a $3.2 million grant agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Egypt. The organisation will use the funding to implement a project for the sustainable management of single-use plastic waste initiated by the Egyptian Ministry of Environment.

The problem of single-use plastic waste persists in Egypt. To solve this equation, the Egyptian authorities have recently raised the possibility of developing a circular economy practice in this value chain, as is already the case for other types of plastics in the country. The project has just received a $3.2 million grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The financing agreement was signed on 24 January 2023 between the Japanese financial institution and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which is supporting this initiative by the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment.

Towards “innovative” alternatives

The three-year project will support the Egyptian government’s efforts to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste discharged into the environment by providing technical assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and by raising awareness among stakeholders, including producers on the need to find innovative alternatives and recycling techniques for this type of packaging, and consumers on the importance of adopting environmentally responsible actions.

Indeed, plastic packaging with a thickness of less than 60 microns, such as bags, water sachets, bottles, cups, etc., is more of an environmental hazard as it accelerates the clogging of sewage systems and the blocking of drainage systems in agricultural land, among other consequences.

This multi-pronged approach will also support the development of policies, regulations and economic tools that will facilitate the adoption of greener processes, supply models and business models in the single-use plastic value chain in Egypt. The $3.2 million grant follows another $3.5 million in JICA funding to Egypt for this single-use plastic waste management project.