Q: What are some of the eco-friendly solutions that Greenloop offers?
A: We offer Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Social Management Systems (ESMSs), Health and Safety Monitoring and Sorting, Collecting and Recycling (SCR) services. Greenloop aligns itself with the United Nations Sustainable Environmental Goals (SDGs) through services such as the green-rating of buildings, which is something that is not very common in Botswana. We not only preach green sustainability but live it as well. The building that Greenloop currently occupies and uses as a place of business is a green-rated building. Greenloop is all about a circular economy, which means creating wealth out of waste.
Q: Why do you advocate use of environment-friendly products?
A: Environment-friendly products ensure longevity of our natural habitat as they are specially designed for use without causing harm to the environment and help in securing the future of the planet while increasing the profitability of a business. The biodegradable packaging products that we offer at Greenloop are eco-friendly because we have taken it upon ourselves to make Botswana green through recyclable packaging. The products and services we offer as a company are designed to promote sustainability for people, companies and society as a whole. Europa Restaurant was one of our very first clients we worked with on developing their eco-friendly packaging strategy. We have introduced a wide range of innovative packaging products for corporates and individuals to move away from using hazardous packaging like plastic to eco-friendly packaging, which is bio-degradable.
Q: What are some of the habits that people engage in that can bring harm to Botswana’s environment and communities?
A: One major habit that I can talk about is the use of plastic for packaging. Plastic is a non-biodegradable product that can cause pollution because it is not easy to decompose. It can fall into rivers and streams and cause harm to animals that may consume it, and that can cause digestion problems. Even the use of chemical-based fertilisers in agriculture, which can be washed into rivers and streams when it rains, releases toxins that have been proven to be harmful to both human and animal life. But now with the introduction of organic fertilisers, which are not that harmful to the environment, organic agriculture can be a part of the sustainability wave and help tackle climate change through its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, store away huge amounts of carbon, and enable farmers to be resilient in an evolving climate.
Q: Do you feel that the government is doing enough to address the SDGs and to catch up with the environmental sustainability wave?
A: The Government of Botswana has a problem of discussing challenges and coming up with solutions but never actually following through with implementing them. Environmental laws are not followed or enforced. For example, people litter as they please without any repercussions whatsoever. If the government does not enforce these laws, Batswana will never take climate change issues seriously.
Q: What do you think the public and private sectors can do to work together to address issues of climate change?
A: Sustainable environmental solutions can be addressed through Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) working hand in hand to address topics of climate change. The private sector needs to collaborate with public entities as the government cannot take on the fight against pollution or environmental degradation by itself because most of the expertise is in the private organisations. If we pull our resources and skills sets together, solutions to the pollution scourge can be found and be implemented. There is limited knowledge and experience within the government in terms of environmental issues, hence they always engage experts or consultants from the private sector.
Q: What are some waste management and recycling solutions that you can recommend for homes and for industrial use?
A: Introducing use of segregated waste recycling in the home, which is the sorting and separation of waste types to facilitate recycling and correct onward disposal, as well as teaching kids from a young age about recycling. Recycling from the source, which involves separating materials by type at the point of discard so they can be recycled, should be implemented. The government should also consider funding projects that seek to establish waste recycling plants. They are currently not available in the country. Our landfills are already in a bad state as it is, which calls for waste recycling plants. It is only then that we can turn waste into wealth. I strongly believe that waste is a resource that can be turned into wealth.