Styrofoam pollution is a serious problem in Zimbabwe. The government is set to ban the ubiquitous material for use in food containers and to promote greener alternatives. But not everyone is happy with the move.

Zimbabwe’s streets, rivers, drains and lakes are awash with discarded, non-recyclable Styrofoam food containers. A problem worsened by the failure of authorities to routinely collect garbage, Zimbabweans are often left with little choice but to dump the material where they see fit.

This environmental devastation is poised to change next month when Zimbabwe’s Environment Management Agency (EMA) bans food containers made from Styrofoam, or kaylite as it is more widely known across the country.

“That is a starting point to fight litter in our country,” EMA spokesman Steady Kangata told DW. “Come October 17, we are not going back.”

The move was proposed in July, after the University of Zimbabwe in the capital Harare released findings outlining the dangers of kaylite. The ultra light-weight material is cheap but the environmental cost is great, it concluded.