Managing single-use land-based plastics in Cameroon: recommendation drawn from global experiences

Etakong Tabeyang


This dissertation is a study of the experiences of successful SuPM from across the globe. A cross examination of single-use plastics (SuP) reveals that since 1950, it has become increasingly indispensable to modern society. The year 2013 marked the turning point in SuP life cycle, with global production amount to 299 MT, resulting to an increase of 3.9 percent, when compared to the 2012 statistics, and a 620 per cent increase compared to 1975 production rate. It increase in usage is a corollary among other factors such as, it low cost of acquisition, increase in demand and world population growth rate. Thus, it ubiquity is felt everywhere including places with little or no human settlement such as Henderson Island, where the maximum amount of plastic litter has been recounted so far in the world. Over the last decades, Cameroon has become dependent on SuPs due to the above mentioned above, and because of the benefits it provides to society such as food and water preservation and packaging, etc. An analysis on emerging approaches to single-use plastics management (SuPM) based on a definition of successful intervention criteria was used to evaluate the techniques used by countries across the globe. It was realised that the most promising solutions that are being adopted in many countries in the world are very successful in Rwanda (Complete ban), Ireland (Irish PlasTax), and Australia (voluntary initiatives). In identifying opportunities for SuPM interventions in Cameroon, these approaches were recommended to be adopted and used simultaneously in order to achieve the desired results. The strength of these methods would be the existence of state machinery / institutions to implement such policies. However, the lack of political will from policy makers and the absence of an international binding convention on SuPM may pose a serious challenge to these approaches. The concluding chapter presents some recommendations such as awareness raising on negative effects of SuP to society, and proposes solutions using the DPSIR framework to manage SuP in Cameroon.