Column: Plastic pollution: West can’t dump its waste on Africa


In my column in the Scotsman this week I discuss how “wars fought with weapons exported from developed countries, economic problems and environmental degradation are among the reasons why people leave developing countries in search of a better life.”

“I don’t know why poor 
Mercy Baguma died or what brought her here. But it’s a tragedy that is going to be repeated unless we change how we treat these desperate people. Moreover, it won’t be the Royal Navy that will stop them coming but what the developed world does in their lands.

“Some are fleeing wars or conflicts that we participated in or fuel through weaponry. That’s reprehensible and must stop. The UK’s fingerprints are all over armaments causing a humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

“But there is economic and environmental damage which we’re also culpable of and that’s forcing people to flee their families and their native land. Debt and tariffs are well known but still aren’t being resolved.

“Less well known is the environmental damage that’s being done and it’s not just the disproportionate effect of climate change upon lands that haven’t had the industrial emissions to cause it. It’s also what we dump upon them.”

You can read the full column at the Scotsman website here.