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BUILD urges better, greener plastic policy

  • Published at 10:29 pm August 20th, 2018
BUILD
BUILD urging for better coordination among regulatory agencies and stakeholders at the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee yesterday Courtesy

It wants to see new initiatives to reduce pollution and improve the recycling and reuse of plastic through a better coordination among regulatory agencies and stakeholders

The government should adopt policy measures which promote environmental sustainability in the plastic sector, a business group said yesterday.

The Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) said it wants to see new initiatives to reduce pollution and improve the recycling and reuse of plastic through a better coordination among regulatory agencies and stakeholders. 

“There is a huge growth opportunity in plastic (but) the unplanned disposal of the material creates environmental hazards,” Dr Rabiul Amin, a consultant of BUILD, said.

The group made a series of proposals during yesterday’s meeting of the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC) at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoE) in Dhaka.

“Bangladesh will need to exploit the opportunity to get a share of the ($680 billion) world plastic market, but this should be done by avoiding the harmful impacts of plastic use,” MoE Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury said. 

In its paper titled “Environmental Sustainability in the Plastic Sector”, BUILD suggests the quick adoption of a plastic sector policy with adequate provisions for recycling.

The group also calls for the establishment of a plastic industrial park, strong coordination between municipalities and the private sector for waste management, and awareness-building among consumers for waste management.

However, according to the former president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Shamim Ahmed, plastic is among the least worst options for the country’s manufacturers. 

“Despite environmental hazards, plastic is an affordable and convenient material and alternatives to plastic would cause more environmental pollution and incur more costs,” he said.

Monday’s meeting of the SGGWC platform was co-chaired by Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Director Md Munir Hossain.

Ferdaus Ara Begum, the CEO of BUILD, said the group had launched the platform in association with MoE and BGMEA so that stakeholders could exchange views about the environment and related policies. 

“The platform will create awareness among the private sector about climate change, environmental damage, and disaster risk reduction in developing compliant and resource efficient entrepreneurship,” Ferdaus Ara Begum said.

In addition to plastic sector sustainability, BUILD also made a presentation on green financing.

Tahmid Zami, senior research associate of BUILD, presented a paper on the implementation status of the $200 Green Transformation Fund (GTF), which offers loans for capital machineries and accessories for the export-oriented sectors of textile and textile products, leather and jute.

The paper found that despite the lucrative interest rate and other features of GTF, its utilization has been very low. 

BUILD proposed that the DoE should advise the Bangladesh Bank about the sectors and areas covered under GTF. 

It also called on the certification authorities to identify environment friendly machinery, for the documentation requirements and process to be reduced, and for awareness among clients to be raised through multi-stakeholder dialogues.