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Plastics and circular economy : an analysis of the environmental regulations’ effectiveness in plastic waste management and the intergration of circular economy in Harare, Zimbabwe

Rukani, Pauline (2019) Plastics and circular economy : an analysis of the environmental regulations’ effectiveness in plastic waste management and the intergration of circular economy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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Abstract:The background of the research is on the accumulation of plastic waste in the Harare Metropolitan Province, in Zimbabwe. Plastic waste can be a hazard to the environment, animals, humans, climate and marine life. It can pollute groundwater if disposed-off and if burnt it can cause air pollution which might lead to health problems, contribute to global warming, which further leads to climate change. Plastic waste is caused by people who throw plastic litter everywhere in Harare Metropolitan Province in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, there are several environmental regulations which try to manage plastic waste by imposing penalties and fines to those found violating the regulations. However, in spite of having all these pieces of legislation in Zimbabwe, plastic waste is still mushrooming and none of them addresses Circular Economy (CE), of which CE is a recommendable way of avoiding the plastic waste and keeping plastic within the loop. Moreover, CE can assist in conserving natural resources which have become scarce. This research therefore analysed the plastic waste management regulations to find out their effectiveness by using the Five-E-Approach to see whether they need to be amended or there is a need for a new policy to be put in place. Furthermore the Contextual Interaction theory (CIT) was used to analyse the characteristics of the policy designers and policy implementers, so as to identify the factors that might increase or decrease the chances of CE to be integrated to the current or new policy and regulatory framework. A mixed-method approach was applied to address the related research questions to the purpose to integrate CE principles within the plastic waste regulatory framework in Zimbabwe. From the research methods viewpoint, in-depth interviews and direct observations were used to gather primary data. Interviewees from the relevant Government Ministries, plastic recyclers, plastic producers and other stakeholders who are involved with plastic waste management made part of this study. On the other hand, secondary data from literature review was used in the form of regulatory Acts and other instruments. Qualitative analysis method was used for the analysis in the CIT and Five-E-Approach and other recommendations were elaborated on the basis of those two types of analysis. The major findings were that the plastic waste management regulations were not effective and efficient, however they were ethical in theory since they addressed human rights but in practice the right to a clean environment was not achieved as seen by plastic litter on the environment. Furthermore people viewed CE to be expensive if adopted into the environmental regulations but in conclusion CE can be adopted and designed in a manner that fits the Zimbabwean economic situation and can even improve the economy as well as the current regulatory framework.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/79515
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