The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) will form two new sub-committees on recycling and green growth under the existing Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC).
“We will work closely with BUILD as well as other relevant stakeholders to ensure an effective policy on Extended Producer Responsibility for the plastic sector,” the secretary of the ministry Ziaul Hasan said in a webinar on Tuesday.
The 3rd Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC) took place virtually to discuss different tools and Policies for Extended Producers Responsibilities (EPR) for the plastic sector.
“The two new platforms should hold regular discussions and deliberations on critical issues on sustainable development in the private sector. We are seriously concerned over the issue of pollution control, in that respect in 2018 there was a SRO on EPR but it could not play proper role,” he also said.
The Chairperson of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Abul Kasem Khan said, “in addition to recycling and management of waste, we also need to promote green growth through diversification and wider adoption of environment-friendly models and solutions such as jute-based pulp, bamboo-based fiber, bio-fuel from waste, and so on.”
Citing the example of neighboring countries that are coming up with innovative and sustainable business solutions, he underscored the importance of close and regular cooperation among public and private sector through the SGGWC and its two proposed sub-committees.
Chairman of Standing Committee on Research & Development of BGMEA Wasim Zakariah endorsed the formation of two committees so that comprehensive policies in these two important areas can be framed.
He also added that rather than sectoral incentives it should be based on the contribution to recycling of the sector/business.
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“The government may come up with policy incentives for RMG factories in order to promote waste management of plastic. Besides, we do not have any kind of chemical safety management policy in place that resulting in accidents around our industry,” he also said.
He also urged the government to form a platform that will be responsible for recycling of all kinds of wastes.
Arif Faisal, Programme Specialist at UNDP Bangladesh said that the government can make an action plan for next 10 years on the SDG-12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production. For control of single-use plastic, market-based solutions should be adopted in the coming days.
President of Bangladesh Pet Flakes Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPFMEA) Nazmul Hassan suggested that PET bottles should have some engraving or traceable mark that would enable recyclers to understand whether those are made from virgin plastic or from recycled material.
Syeda Masarrat Quader, Regional Sustainability Manager of H&M mentioned, “on top of plastic recycling, we should also take immediate measures to ensure recycling of other materials such as pre- and post-consumer waste in the textile sector.”
Syeda also said Bangladesh should quickly take steps to expand its recycling capacity for textile like other countries like China, India, Vietnam, Turkey, etc.
Former President of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) Shamim Ahmed mentioned that banning plastic solutions without alternatives won’t be feasible while financial tools like imposing levy on single-use plastic could be more effective.
He urged on speedy completion of the plastic industrial park.
Dean at BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology Professor Engineer Abu Bakr Siddique said he has developed solutions for producing various usable materials from recycled plastic.
Principal Scientist of BCSIR Swapan Kumer Ray said he has already developed solutions for aggregate modification of various waste including plastic for producing construction material.
Executive Director of Waste Concern Abu Hasnat Md Maqsood Sinha urged on speedy approval of the Urban Waste Management and Handling Rule that would provide a legal basis to implement EPR. Upstream management would be the only sustainable solution for plastic waste.
Additional Secretary of the Environment Ministry Shamim Alrazi mentioned that the BEST project supported by the World Bank will include a component to implement required measures for waste recycling.
Nazmul Hasan, Director of Department of DOE put emphasis on green budget and requested BUILD to support in that respect. He suggested that there is a Technical Committee in DOE on EPR where BUILD can be a member. Referring proposals of BUILD in the earlier meeting he informed that Battery recycling policy has been updated.
BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum updated the meeting with the progress achieved in implementation of decisions of the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee.
She said Bangladesh Bank has revised the provisions and design of the Green Transformation Fund to make it more accessible for all manufacturers-exporters for importing environment-friendly machinery. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has issued a SRO to get the battery-run electric vehicles registered.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from BSTI, BIDA, Ministry of Water Resources, Finance Division, Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Unilever, and so on.