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Call for independent body for waste management

This will help bring good governance in the sector, say speakers

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 9 October, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Call for independent body for waste management
Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tazul Islam, State Minister for Environment Shahab Uddin and FBCCI President Jashim Uddin are seen at a seminar on ‘Enabling Policy for Sustainable Plastic Waste Management’ in the capital on Saturday.

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Experts have urged the government to set up an independent body to bring good governance in waste management and tap the potential of the recycling industry.

“There are different authorities to manage domestic and industrial waste. We should introduce single authorities for monitoring total waste management of all municipalities for inclusive output,” Prof Ijaz Hossain, former dean of faculty of engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), said.

In his keynote paper at a seminar on Saturday, he gave the example of Indian success in this sector. “The National Green Tribunal of India achieved success applying such a model.” Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) organised the seminar on “enabling policy for sustainable plastic waste management” in association with Unilever Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tazul Islam was present as the chief guest while State Minister for Environment Shahab Uddin was special guest on the occasion.

Prof Izaz Hossain said Bangladeshis produce per capita wastage of 9 kilogram per year which is 24 kilograms for Dhaka city.

He said 10 percent of the waste are plastic items that can be recycled multiple times saving the earth from landfilling of waste.

In the keynote, Prof Izaz Hossain also emphasised the collection of segregated waste as the entrepreneurs can produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF) from domestic solid waste and industrial waste.

“There is a challenge in collection of mixed waste including organic and non-organic materials. Besides, the mixed waste causes water logging. We should promote SMEs to produce alternative items from the waste as it can be economically viable,” he said.

The researcher also urged the authorities to install material recovery facility (MRF) and produce revised derived fuel (RDF) from the waste at a lower cost

FBCCI President Jashim Uddin made an address of welcome while Unilever Bangladesh Managing Director Zaved Akhtar made a presentation on best practices in waste management from the corporate segment.

In his speech, LGRD Minister Tazul Islam claimed that the waste collection is currently not considered to be sustainable as it is still not viewed as a business proposition.

“We must also empower the value chain actors and provide holistic support to the informal sector, comprising the micro entrepreneurs, scrap dealers and waste pickers. This informal yet important sector must be facilitated, and a proper structure should be developed for our own sake,” he said.

State Minister for Environment Shahab Uddin urged the green activists and entrepreneurs to find out the mechanisms and institutional arrangements to co-devise a circular plastic economy.

“Implementation of the action plan also requires the allocation of budget and resources leveraging both public and private finance. We hope that this plan will help the government achieve its vision and become a role model for other countries,” he said.

Senior Secretary Tofazzal Hossain Miah said that the government has incorporated plastic waste management in its sustainable urbanisation goals under the Vision 2041.

FBCCI President Jashim Uddin, also vice-chairman at Bengal Group, expressed his desire to invest in the jute industry to reduce the use of single-use plastic for sake of the environment.

“There is much talk about the jute-made bag as an alternative to polythene. I am ready to invest in environmentally-friendly products. However, we didn’t get a response from the innovator of the Sonali Bag in spite of requesting it multiple times,” he said.

Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) President Shamim Ahmed\urged the government to provide incentives and tax rebate facilities on the private sector initiatives in the production of plastic waste materials.

World Bank senior environmental specialist Eun Joo Allison Yi, FBCCI panel expert Iqbal Habib, Moinul Islam of Narayanganj City Corporation and Bangladesh Petrochemical Company Managing Director Khadem Mahmud Yousuf took part in a panel discussion.