Communities and local authorities have been challenged to come up with well thought out programmes to beat the burden of plastic pollution which has disastrous consequences on both human and animal life.

Stakeholders attending a World Environment Day commemoration in Kariba expressed concern over improper disposal of solid waste, especially plastic material, which they say usually ends up in water bodies, forests and reticulation systems, thereby negatively affecting human, wild and aqua life.

The stakeholders believe integrated solid waste management plans by local authorities is the way to go, as has been adopted by Kariba Municipality where plastics and cans are recycled for sale on the export market.

Kariba Acting District Administrator, Mr Witness Kufa said millions of tonnes of plastic escape the waste collection system and end up in the water system.

The Environmental Management Agency provincial manager for Mashonaland West Mrs Eunice Mutepfa said society has to start appreciating the environment and find ways to reduce plastic use.

Kariba Acting Town Clerk Mr Richard Kamhoti said his municipality has embraced the integrated solid waste management approach, which has seen the local authority team up with stakeholders to recycle waste, which he said has cash value.

The local authority has some community based organisations that are campaigning for a cleaner Kariba through advocacy programmes.

Meanwhile, at corporate level, Delta Beverages has taken on board steps to reduce solid waste based pollution by putting its products in reusable packages.