Environmental Policy Processes Surrounding South Africa’s Plastic Bags Regulations

Tensions, Debates and Responses in Waste Product Regulation

by Godwell Nhamo

01/31/2008

This study was conducted in South Africa. South Africa is the first country within the Southern African Development Community to have regulated plastic shopping bags waste through the imposition of both a standard on thickness and a levy. Given this scenario, the Plastic Bags Regulations present an illustrative case for researching complexity, uncertainty and controversies surrounding a new trend in environmental policy making, namely waste product regulation. The thesis focuses on understanding and investigating tensions, debates and responses emerging from the policy process as actors and actor-networks put not only the Plastic Bags Regulations into circulation as focal actant (token) but also other actants and actant-networks as well. To this end, a research question that addressed envi...

by Michael Kakaire Kirunda

06/05/2008

Departing from John Herbert Michael Agar's contention that "the truth that makes people free is for the most part the truth which people prefer not to hear," I focus this article on two all too often implied, although not explicitly formulated, major triggers of Africa's predicaments -- including environmental degradation. I argue that while the ruling elites (Africans and non-Africans alike) have been, and still are, the major players in the development and exacerbation of the myriad of problems facing Africa and its people, this elemental dimension has not received sufficient academic attention. I also ascertain how the challenges facing Africa and its people -- ranging from environmental degradation to cultural putrefy, and from political paralysis to economic stagnation, are, while i...