Under the implementation of the President's directives, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, launched the "Safe Disposal of Electronic Waste" national campaign through the Electronic Application (E-Tadweer). She also witnessed the signing of a several of memoranda of understanding with business partners to support the initiative. A system for collecting electronic waste from individuals by providing reduction vouchers (incentives) for individuals to get rid of electrical and electronic waste through the electronic application, and providing points for waste collection, as well as promoting the campaign on social media platforms and preparing campaigns to raise awareness for various groups of society about the necessity of safe disposal of their electronic waste using the E-Tadweer electronic application in a safe way.
This comes within the framework of the Ministry of Environment's keenness to encourage partnership with the private sector and support entrepreneurship in the areas of sustainable management of hazardous waste and the circular economy.
The event has been launched in the presence of Ms. Randa Abul-Hosn, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Abdullah, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, Engineer Osama Zaki, CEO of Raya Manufacturing and President of Sustainability, Dr. Medhat Khalil, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Raya Holding Company for Financial Investments, and Eng. Ahmed Kamal Executive Director of the Environmental Compliance and Sustainable Development Office, Dr. Tariq Al-Arabi - Director of the Medical and Electronic Waste Management Project, and Professor Karim Dabous - E-Tadweer's Application Developer.
Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, confirmed that the launch of the national initiative for the collection and recycling of e-waste came under the political leadership of the President of the Republic, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, supporting the environmental file and its integration into the heart of the national development economy, noting that 3 years ago the goal of developing the environmental sector was set with the support from the Prime Minister, Dr. Mustafa Madbouly, by working on two axes of reducing pollution in addition to working on preserving natural resources, through which the language of the environmental discourse was changed.
The Minister of Environment indicated that work on various environmental files and initiatives is carried out through youth's involvement and the participation of the private sector, thus working on increasing awareness on various environmental issues, noting that the presidential initiative “Live Green” was launched to raise environmental awareness for all citizens on various environmental issues in addition to working to reduce the cost of deterioration.
The Minister of Environment added that Egypt generates 90 thousand tons of e-waste from which 23% of the household sector is generated from the total e-waste, and we are working through the launch of the initiative to reduce health risks and help create job opportunities and give concrete and realistic models for the green and circular economy.
The Minister of Environment indicated that the transfer of the informal sector of waste into a formal sector has become an urgent necessity, especially with the law obligating all workers in the field of waste to register to obtain licenses to practice the profession, as we help its workers to register their data.
The Minister of Environment emphasized the ministry's support for ideas such as today's initiative "Get Green", which was preceded by other ideas in several areas of municipal waste and promotion of natural reserves, noting that the state is working on building a system for electronic waste as well as building a model for an integrated waste city that includes part of it for hazardous waste. The minister also added that the government is making great efforts and striving to compete with time in establishing development projects through steady and innovative steps executed by Egyptian hands at a time when the whole world has been affected economically and in all aspects of development. Moreover, it seeks Egypt's commitment to its international agreement.
For her part, Mrs. Randa Abul-Hosn, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt, praised the efforts of the Ministry of Environment, confirming that the E-Tadweer initiative - an innovative model of partnership between the government, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector concerned with preserving the environment to provide a simple mechanism that motivates citizens to safely dispose their electronic wastes.
Dr. Tariq Al-Arabi, Director of the Medical and Electronic Waste Management Project at the Ministry of Environment, explained that the private sector is the largest generator of e-waste, followed by families and then the government sector. He pointed out that the waste generated by the government sector and large institutions in the private sector can have policies and laws impose and applied to them. According to the law, the waste produced by them must be handed over to one of the official factories for recycling e-waste.
Al-Arabi added that during the past years, collecting electronic waste generated from families has been one of the challenges of managing electronic waste as it is collected by the informal sector and is wrongly managed or its dangerous parts are disposed with the municipal waste and ends up in a landfill or it is kept in homes. So, one of the goals of the project was to create a sustainable mechanism for collecting e-waste generated from individuals while providing them with economic incentives so that it does not end up in the hands of the informal sector, which does not follow any environmental standards in dealing with that waste, which leads to severe negative effects on health and the environment.
Mr. Mohamed Abdullah, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, expressed his happiness with the strategic partnership in the initiative "Get Green" launched by the Ministry of Environment under the patronage of H.E President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, explaining that Vodafone was the first company to support the "E-Tadweer" initiative, to benefit from the company's technological expertise. Working as a technical arm of the Ministry and overseeing the implementation of the electronic application, some Vodafone branches will be available to collect e-waste. Moreover, it will be working to educate citizens and inform them about how to dispose their electronic waste in a safe manner, and to provide a set of incentives to encourage citizens to participate in this initiative. In addition to donating ten tons of e-waste to start the project.
Engineer Osama Zaki, CEO of Raya Manufacturing and Head of Sustainability at Raya Holding, also confirmed in his speech on behalf of Eng. Medhat Khalil, Chairman of Raya Holding Board, that participation in the initiative is a national role that reflects the work of the private sector side by side with the government to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals. In light of the political leadership’s interest in integrating the environmental dimension in the fields of development to limit the environmental degradation of natural resources, Raya’s efforts come within the framework of the societal role it plays in the Egyptian market with the aim of achieving tangible results in the file of safe disposal of electronic waste and minimizing its damages.
For his part, Eng. Ahmed Kamal, Executive Director of the Office of Environmental Compliance and Sustainable Development, affirmed keenness to deepen cooperation with the Ministry of Environment in many areas, including the launch of this initiative. As the office believes in the sound and sustainable management of the safe disposal of waste, indicating that the communication took place in two stages with factories and companies operating in the field of recycling and providing incentive vouchers for those wishing to get rid of electronic waste, as some companies have been encouraged and we seek to include others.