In 2015, five African countries (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria and Morocco) are listed among the top 20 nations with the highest mismanaged plastic waste. Each generates between 0.31 and 0.97 million tonnes per year.

While the first and last position held by China and the US generates an estimated 8.82 and 0.28 million tonnes per year, respectively. More recent scenarios have suggested that due to end-user demand for plastic products on the continent, by 2060 eight African countries will be in the top 10 nations with the highest plastic waste generation rates.

Overall, this results in large volumes of waste ending up in open and uncontrolled dump-sites. Eighteen of the 50 largest dump-sites are located on the continent. For example, Agbogbloshie Recycling Site in Accra, Ghana. It is situated along the Odaw River and has received between 1.75 and 2.5 million tonnes of e-waste in a 13-year period. This loosely equates to between 292,000 and 417,000 male African elephants.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION