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Environment

'July without Plastic': national public figures give voice to environmental campaign

Streets full of plastic bags, bottles floating in the sea and packages buried in the sands of the beaches are some of the scenarios that have been proven in recent times. The war on plastic has already been declared and there is more and more talk about the problem that this material represents for the environment. To raise awareness of this problem, EcoAngola challenged a number of national public figures to raise their voices against this enemy through the 'July without Plastic' campaign.

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The campaign, which has the partnership of the Angolan Ecological Youth and Vladimir Russo, environmental consultant and director of the Kissama Foundation, has taken shape in social networks. This year, the awareness actions had to be adapted to digital platforms due to covid-19, but even that didn't demotivate the organisers to go ahead with 'July without Plastic'.

Several celebrities, including Maria Borges, Mel Chaves, Bruna Sardinha, Vânia Vilela and DJ Bruno AG, have placed images with posters with awareness phrases on social networks. "The rubbish you throw on the ground doesn't talk, but it says a lot about you", "I want to live in a world with more turtles than plastic in the sea" and "There's no planet B", are some of the phrases that famous people have used to sensitize the less conscious.

Speaking to the Expansão, Érica Tavares, director of EcoAngola, revealed that due to the coronavirus the campaign is taking place on social networks without "any concertation with the international initiative" - launched in 2011 by Earth Carers Waste Education in Australia.

Érica Tavares says she's against the "massive dependence on plastic in the country due to lack of awareness" and the behaviour of "not throwing out the rubbish, but in the environment itself".

In addition to this campaign, another project is being prepared and will be launched this month: the first reused bin will be placed on the Via Expresso, with the aim of promoting recycling. This project is a partnership between EcoAngola and Sociedade Gestora de Terminais, Sogester.

José Silva, president of the Angolan Ecological Youth, admitted that although the campaign's message is being transmitted online it is always important to alert to this problem, considering there is an "unsustainable use of bags" in the country.

He also spoke about another campaign involving the first lady, Ana Dias Lourenço. José Silva considered that the campaign "Ban Plastics for a Pollution-Free Africa", promoted by the African Union, had no effect in Angola, he regretted.

Valdimir Russo revealed to the same newspaper that the people of Luand are the ones who produce more garbage in the country. The inhabitants of Luanda produce "between 650 grams at one kilogram a day, depending on whether they live more in the urban spot or in the periphery, far above the national average of 460 grams of garbage per day".

To arrive at this comparison, the specialist based his practical knowledge on the ground, as there are few official data available, and the most current dates back to 2012.

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