New Report: Reactions to Plastic Ban amidst COVID-19 — Top 5 findings. (First part)

Download Report (English and French, free): here

“72% of consumers currently notice positive environmental. changes”

This result stems from our new LOOKA study published on April 27th, 2020 in partnership with the Association Zero Waste Senegal. Through phone interviews in Fulani, Wolof and French, our surveyors interviewed 206 merchants and consumers in Dakar and its suburbs, who express concerns, alternatives to plastic and point to strategic orientations for the adoption of the law in light of the COVID-19 context.

Dakar, capital of Senegal

Respondents express their perceptions and expectations of the law n°2020–04 of January 8th, 2020, commonly known as the “Plastic law”, which aims to prevent and reduce the environmental impact of plastic in Senegal and inscribes itself in the national “Zero Waste” program of the Senegalese government.

We compared this new data with an internal LOOKA study conducted in July 2019, with 300 people in Dakar and Abidjan on their perceptions to the environment. We hope that these insights and strategic orientations can serve as a silver lining for the implementation of the “Plastic law” and sustainable waste management in Senegal.

Here are the TOP FIVE key findings !

I. 81% think that the “Plastic law” is not a priority in the COVID-19 context

Waste in a marketplace of Dakar

As a part of the national “Zero Waste” program of the Senegalese government, the “Plastic law” is a follow-up from the law of May 04, 2015 prohibiting, amongst other things, “light plastic bags” of less than 30 microns. This second law repeals and replaces the previous one, which has seen limited enforcement. Among the interviewees, many expressed doubts as to the actual enforcement of this new law.

The restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • the prohibition of certain single-use plastic products
  • a total ban on plastic checkout bags
  • a plastic bottle deposit system
  • the obligation for producers to ensure the management of waste from the products they put on the market
  • the imposition of a tax on non-recyclable plastic materials
  • a ban on importing plastic waste in Senegal.

More than 77% of respondents have heard of the “Plastic law”. However, 81% think that is not or a low priority in the context of the COVID-19. Confusion remain regarding its content and the difference with the 2015 law on plastic. That being said, 64% are aware of the main element of the law: it prohibits single use plastics.

II. For 45% the main sources of pollution are linked to waste

In 2018, the WHO ranked Dakar as one of the most polluted cities in the world, ahead of Beijing, New York, Mumbai, and Paris. Dakar has an average level of small particles of 146 micrograms per cubic meter. This is more than seven times the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. That being said, Senegal is one of only 8 countries in Africa to measure air quality (source: OMS).

In our July 2019 study, 86% of those interviewed indicated that they were little or not satisfied with the air quality in Dakar. For 45% of respondents in our new study, the main source of pollution is linked to waste (including plastic, 13%, and burning waste, 2%), followed by cars (30%) and industries (25%).

For 72%, the priority is not to throw waste on the ground, but while 60% of consumers favor recycling, only 7% of merchants do.

Waste management — Zero Waste Program

At his inauguration on April 2nd, 2019 the Senegalese Head of State declared: “I call for a general mobilization to forge the image of a new Senegal; a Senegal that is cleaner in its neighborhoods, cleaner in its villages, cleaner in its cities (…) a “Senegal Zero Waste”. Soon after the Zero Waste Program was launched by the government.

Written by Cloé Marche (Market Researcher) and Aïssatou Sow (Data Analyst) at LOOKA

Download Report (English and French, free): here




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