Waste Assessment and Brand Audits (WABA)

Waste Assessment and Brand Audits (WABA)

Waste Audit and Brand Audit (WABA) is a participatory science initiative that involves counting and documenting the brands found on plastic waste to help identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution.

Brand Audit

Since 2018, Nipe Fagio participates in the Break Free From Plastic global brand audits program

Using the Break Free from Plastic’s Brand Audit Toolkit along with technology for data collection such as Open Data toolkit (ODK) and QGIS, we:

  • Define the survey area
  • Collect all waste found in that area
  • Count and record the brand, parent manufacturer, product type (food, personal care, or household product), and packaging type (HDPE, PET, PVC, PP, PS, multi-layer plastics, single-layer plastics, and other) of each piece of waste collected. We also record other materials, like aluminium and glass.

Waste Audit

A Waste Audit is a methodology to identify waste profiles in different areas to::

  • Determine the composition and quantities of waste being generated
  • Measure the effectiveness of existing waste management systems
  • Identify opportunities for improving waste management systems and strategies
  • Collect baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of waste minimization strategies

WABA Objectives

Nipe Fagio holds the largest database on waste in Tanzania. The database is used to support government decision-making, industry advocacy, and pollution monitoring and to draw a connection between industrial production and waste generation. With this database, we support the adoption of waste management policies in which production is well regulated and industries produce without harming the environment as an unintended consequence. 

4-Year Trend Analysis

Origin of waste collected

In the years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, in collaboration with 32,151 participants, we were able to conduct waste and brand audits in community and beach cleanups to highlight the waste composition in Tanzania. After analyzing 350,000 units of waste, the results show that, on average, 64% of the waste in the sample bags audited is plastic waste. In 2021 plastic waste accounted for 76% of all waste collected.

Waste and Brand audits conducted since 2018 highlighted that the most common type of plastic found in the environment is polyethene terephthalate (PET) with 23,094 (33%) pieces, followed by Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) 22,112 (31%) pieces, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) 5%, while multi-layered, single-layered, polystyrene and polypropylene together were 20%. 

Through these Brand audits, data shows that local manufacturers & producers are the leading polluters with 75% of all waste audited while foreign products cover 25%. Analyzing the data in hand, it is simply not enough to rely on recycling efforts alone to handle the pollution and climate crisis caused by these single-use plastic items. We desperately need serious and drastic measures to be adopted and followed through to avoid collapsing under the single-use plastic waste we produce- both figuratively and literally. 

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WABA participants

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Units of waste analyzed

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Waste from Local Origin

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Waste from Foreign Origin

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