News & Insights

Cardno combating marine plastic waste off the coasts of East Africa

In 75 years of operation Cardno has consistently sought to expand the fields of vision and look into new ways to make a difference, not least in our 40 plus years of International Development projects.

Most recently, the International Development EMEA teams have partnered with the Resource and Waste Advisory Group (RWA), environmental practitioners specialised in waste management, resource and energy efficiency, and environmental improvement, to run two sister projects focussing on marine litter, especially plastics, off the coasts of Kenya and Mozambique.

Both projects are funded by the World Bank. In Kenya, the team is looking at what type, and how much plastic is washing up onto the beaches. In Mozambique, the focus is more on cities, and how much they are producing that leaks into the environment. As well as total amounts of plastics produced or imported and consumed in Mozambique.

We asked Senior Waste Management Expert Joachim Stretz from RWA, who is also the Team Leader on both projects, what kind of action this data is likely to lead to.

“In Kenya, it will help to identify actions within the larger World Bank programme on promoting fisheries in Kenya and provide recommendations for actions on a national scale by, for example, suggesting substituting polluting types of plastics. In Mozambique, we will instruct the national action plan to combat marine litter, so that informed decisions and actions can be taken.”

It is estimated that there are currently 150 million metric tonnes of plastics in the oceans worldwide, with approximately 5 to 13 million metric tonnes added annually given prevailing trends in urbanisation, production and consumption.

Altogether, combating marine plastics will have a vast effect on communities that benefit from clean beaches and reduced plastic waste. Public health can improve. Marine environments will be protected to grow and thrive, bringing tourism to pristine beaches. Also securing fishing stocks and biodiversity. All of this contributes to large economic sectors, driving employment and industry.

We look forward to a future of making a difference in the global efforts to combat plastic waste.

Find our more about the two projects:

Diagnostic Study on Marine Litter Prevention especially relating to Plastics in Coastal Kenya

National Marine Litter Analysis in Mozambique