It is bought by unknown parties. What is the fate of used cooking oil in Egypt? | The economy

Cairo Deputies warned of the phenomenon of unknown parties buying edible oils used by Egyptians in exchange for money, stressing that these oils are being reused in unsafe ways, which poses a serious risk to the health of citizens.

The ads spread through electronic applications and social media platforms promoting the purchase of used oils by housewives in exchange for an attractive sum of money or new bottles of oil and received interaction from the target audience.

Prices of used oils vary according to advertisers, some of whom offer to buy a liter of oil for pa 3, and sometimes up to pa 20 (the dollar is around 65 18.65).

At the same time, the local media continue to report the seizure of tons of oils of unknown origin in the possession of persons preparing for market exposure.

The volume of oil consumption in Egypt is about 2.4 million tons per year, at a rate of 20 kilograms per person, and about 67% of the country’s needs for oils are imported, according to the head of the Oil Division of the Federation of Industries.

However, a recent report released by the US Department of Agriculture confirmed an increase in Egypt’s vegetable oil imports during the current year, recording about 1.97 million tonnes, compared to 1.77 million tonnes last year, while recording 1.94 million tonnes in 2020 ..

Parliamentary movement

As the phenomenon of the purchase of used oils expands, the member of the National Defense and Security Committee in the House of Representatives, Miral Al-Haridi, has submitted a request for information to the Ministers of Health, Local Development, Supply and Environment. , regarding the recycling of used edible oils and the health harms that result from their reuse.

In the petition submitted to the House of Representatives, Al-Haridi cited citizens’ complaints about the proliferation of street vendors intending to buy used edible oils.

“Through research we have found that a large number of people have recently appeared on the streets, declaring their willingness to buy all kinds of used edible oils at prices ranging from 10 to 15 pounds per kilogram, without specifying the reason for their purchase. she added.

The MP explained that a large number of citizens interacted with offers to buy used oil, noting the warning of media reports from unknown factories that recycle oils using a substance called “bleaching oil” or “Indian cement”. ”.

“This substance whitens the color of used oil, restores it to its natural color and improves its visible properties, which facilitates the process of reselling it in fast food stores, chips factories and citizens. in popular markets “, she said.

Al-Haridi concluded by warning that these recycled oils pose a threat to the health of citizens, calling them a hotbed of carcinogenic toxins.

In addition, parliamentarian Ayman Mohsab submitted a request for a public discussion regarding the clarification of government policy to support the recycling of edible oils used for the production of organic fuels.

He said the used oil damages the infrastructure, explaining that it causes blockage of the drainage pipes, as a result of its high viscosity, the drainage process slows down and sticks to solids, creating large blocks inside the pipes.

Ministry of Environment launches initiative to urge citizens not to spill edible oil used in drainage ponds (Egyptian press)

Mohseb also stressed that the used oil is not biodegradable quickly, which makes the wastewater treatment process more complicated and expensive. He continued: “These damages have been realized by the Ministry of Environment, so the campaign has started to collect the used edible oil for safe disposal or to reuse it for purposes other than cooking, in exchange for incentives.”

About two years ago, the Ministry of Environment launched an initiative aimed at collecting used home cooking oils for environmental purposes, in collaboration with a renewable energy company.

However, what the parliamentarian called the “Bir El Salam” factories, which are again used for cooking, attacked the collection area of ​​used oil and demanded strict control of these factories by the relevant authorities.

Government initiative

About two years ago, the Ministry of Environment launched an initiative to urge citizens not to spill waste oil used in wastewater basins or dump it in landfills, in exchange for a healthy disposal.

In cooperation with the Green Pan service provided by the renewable energy company Tajdeed, the Ministry of Environment oversees the collection of used oil and then recycles it to produce biofuels as an energy alternative, and other products such as glycerin and soap.

According to “Green Pan” ads on social networking platforms, used oil is replaced by booking an appointment via the site or electronic application when you collect a certain number of kilograms of oil with promotional wallets, in exchange for 5 liters used. oil, the citizen gets two bottles of new oil with a bottle of dishwashing liquid, and the initiative covers the governments of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Sharqiya, Fayum and Western.

Bottles of cooking oil are photographed on a shelf in a Carrefour hypermarket in Cairo, Egypt, February 21, 2018. REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Egypt imports of vegetable oils increased this year, recording about 1.97 million tons (Reuters)

Maryam Afifi, a founding member of the Renewable Energy Company, said used oils are used in the production of biofuels known to reduce carbon emissions, which helps reduce air pollution.

She explained – in televised statements – that Europe is a huge market for biofuels, “every liter of oil contains 20% of biofuels”, adding that the company exports all the quantities of oils collected after first treating them inside Egypt.

Afifi warned unknown parties that collect oils from homes, shops and restaurants, stressing the need to review licenses issued by the Ministry of Health and Environment before handing over used oils to these authorities.

health risks

For his part, the inspector in the Health Directorate of Beheira Governor, Muhammad Muqrash, warned the use of recycled oils in cooking, as they cause severe damage to the kidneys and heart and negatively affect the efficiency of the immune system.

And he confirmed – in press releases – the spread of the phenomenon of mixing used cooking oil with certain substances to get rid of impurities and unpleasant odors through unknown workshops operating without a license.

He added that restaurants that want to save on the price of safe oils are customers of these cheap prices, but are dangerous to health.

Fear of citizens

Through social media platforms, a large number of citizens expressed their fear for the fate of used oils that are being collected by unknown parties in exchange for tempting sums of money, calling on the relevant authorities to intervene and monitor those holidays that are made popular recently. with rising inflation.

Last May, the prices of a number of oils rose by an average of about 23% in the price of a bottle, and government officials considered this one of the consequences of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

spring : island + Egyptian press + Websites

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