Recycling and alternative of plastic products stressed to beat plastic pollution

Jul 29, 2018

A month-long celebration of the World Environment Day was ended on 29 July with a closing seminar and award giving ceremony at Ban Bhaban, Agargaon, organized by the Department of Environment (DoE), supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BPGMEA).

In the closing event speakers said that, Bangladesh was ranked among top 10 plastic polluted countries due to poor waste management. Plastic comprises 8 percent of the country's waste generated every year, weighing some 800,000 tonnes.

 

Presenting a keynote on plastic pollution, challenges and sustainable development, UNDP’s programme specialist Arif M. Faisal said, production of plastics emits greenhouse gas and hence contribute to global warming while pollutes soil and water, affecting the government’s SDG achievements. He proposed innovative sustainable solutions and policy recommendations for the promotion of biodegradable plastics and alternative packaging materials.

Addressing the seminar, Md Ziaul Haque, Director DoE said, roughly 14 million pieces of poly bags are used every day in Dhaka city, often ending up in rivers and the ocean and posing a hazard to marine life. Only raising awareness among people on the usage of plastic, especially polythene bags, can save the country from the devastating threat of environment pollution, he added.

Jashim Uddin, president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said initiatives are being taken globally to stop single use of plastic to mitigate environmental hazards.

“If we can put in place a proper plastic waste management system, it will help protect the environment. It is already happening in Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands,” he added.

BUET Professor Izaj Ahmed, while presenting another keynote paper, said plastic recycling industries could capitalise huge profits in Bangladesh as cheap manpower and raw materials were available here.

Environment, forest and climate change minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said popularisation of the economically viable alternatives was crucial to replace polythene bags.

DoE director general Sultan Ahmed chaired the programme while MoEFCC additional secretary Billal Hossain, DoE deputy director general Quazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hashmi, Ram Sharma, Chief Technical Specialist (Forest & Watershed Management) also spoke, among others.

The department of environment handed over crests as awards to three participants of an environment fair based on their contribution to environment protection.

The Clean and Sustainable Environment Project secured the first position, KPC Industries Ltd came second, and Craft and Kraft third.

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