The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is calling on everyone to support efforts to address plastic pollution as governments, businesses, and civil society prepare for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-4) — with the meeting to be held in Ottawa, Canada, from 23 to 29 April.

Since the 1950s, 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced, of which 7 billion tonnes have become waste, filling up landfills and polluting lakes, rivers, the soil and the ocean. We now produce and consume 430 million tonnes of plastic each year, two-thirds of which are short-lived products that soon become waste. Without urgent action that figure will rise three-fold by 2060, with devastating impacts for ecosystems and human health.

It is time to eliminate unnecessary plastic, redesign products so they can be reused, repurposed, repaired and recycled, switch to non-plastic substitutes, and strengthen systems for sound waste management. Choose to reuse instead of buying new products and always opt for reusable products. Refuse single-use plastic items when possible; don’t ask for plastic bags; repair and separate your waste for recycling

The I-CHANGE project faces the challenge of engaging and promoting the active participation of citizens for addressing climate change, sustainable development and environmental protection in the framework of the European Green Deal, the European Climate Pact and the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The overall driving concept is that citizens and civil society have a central role in the implementation of environmental protection and climate action and their direct involvement is essential to drive a true shift and promotion of changes of behaviours towards more sustainable patterns.

In I-CHANGE Living Lab of West Africa, citizen act for an integrated management of heavy rains, floods and household waste in urban areas. The role of the I-CHANGE Living Lab of West Africa (LLWA) is to use trans- and inter-disciplinary, participatory, and proactive approaches to better address the heavy rain events, wastes, and urban flash floods in the city of Ouagadougou, the capital City of Burkina Faso, located in the Kadiogo province. These approaches bring together different vital stakeholders to handle the framework’s complexity.

A survey of dumping sites was carried out from 20 April to 2 June 2022. The main objective was to identify potential dumps in the district of Ouagadougou. The I-CHANGE team made use of the ODK software survey form to geo-locate the different sites. They also have a critical look at whether these sites are formally allocated by the town hall to serve as dumps or are just informal sites. The team used the Jareeb software to estimate the surface area of the identified sites.