Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) announced on the 2nd of April that Red Sea Governor, Major Ahmed Abdullah has introduced a ban on the “single-use” plastics due to its serious environmental damages and to stop destroying the marine life.
The ban is set to take effect in the 1st of June, after agreeing to the proposal submitted by Hepca and will be applied on related outlets, including restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, groceries, butchers, fisheries, fruits and vegetables shops and pharmacies, as well as plastic cutleries like knives, plugs, plastic hooks, cups and dishes. Heavy garbage collection bags are not included in the ban.
The Red Sea governorate is one step ahead of Cairo with the most needed eco-positive decision, as two years ago, the Egyptian Environment Ministry launched the ‘Enough Plastic Bags’ campaign. "We want to limit this phenomenon to preserve our maritime environment," Major Abdallah said.
The Egyptian environment ministry launched an EU-funded initiative called “Enough Plastic Bags” in 2017, to eliminate the country’s dependency on plastic bags, due to their negative effects on the environment and the economy.
“The decree is to protect the threatened and endangered species which are severely affected by ingestion, starvation, suffocation, drowning, entanglement and toxicity from plastic remains which affects the human health accordingly,” Hepca declared in a statement.
"We will launch an awareness campaign about the negative impacts of plastic on marine life and human health, in addition to on-ground activities and events, giving lectures for public and private schools, clean-up campaigns for islands, beaches and underwater in collaboration with schools, diving centers, and the red sea community," Hepca said.
Many other African counties have launched similar initiatives to stop plastic bag usage as Rwanda imposed a complete ban law on thin plastic bags in 2008, and approved severe sanctions such as jail sentences and stiff fines for those who will be caught violating the law.