The market size of plastic products in Bangladesh is 40 thousand crores Tk. Of this, revenues from the export of plastic products amount to Tk 120 crore. Entrepreneurs in the sector aim to be among the top 40 exporters by 2030. The former dean of BUET’s chemical engineering department presented this information on Saturday in a seminar entitled Enabling Policy for Sustainable Plastic Waste Management, hosted by FBCCI and Unilever at a hotel in the capital. Ijaz Hossain.
Currently, 24 kg of plastic products are used per person in the capital Dhaka and 9 kg outside Dhaka. Only 10 percent of this is made reusable by city companies and municipalities. Dr Ijaz Hossain said that 8 lakh 21 thousand 250 tons of plastic waste is generated annually. Of this, 2 lakh 93 thousand 825 tons is reused. 3 lakh 19 thousand 740 tons went to the country. 2 lakh 7 thousand 685 tons went into the river.
Dr. Ijaz Hossain said, 5000 500 plastic product manufacturing factories have created employment for 2 million people. Every year, 120 million dollars worth of plastic products are exported. Plastics and plastic products rank 12th in terms of export revenue. In the long run, successful models of different countries for plastic waste management need to be localized or adapted to the country. Since almost everyone in the country is directly and indirectly dependent on plastic, the editorial emphasizes doing good research, research and pilots before any policy or legislation. At the same time, he recommended a good discussion with all stakeholders, including consumers, producers and users. He expressed his fear that the policies adopted would otherwise be unrealistic and cause harm to the common people.
FBCCI chairman in the welcome speech. Jasim Uddin said it is normal to increase the use of plastic with the increase in GDP. However, the lack of proper management of plastic waste is the biggest challenge in this sector. In this regard, it is important to raise public awareness and ensure their involvement. At the same time, a culture of segregated waste at source, such as in developed countries, must be created. Because source separation is the most important thing when implementing a sustainable model of waste management. Separating different types of waste at source makes the whole ‘collection and recycling process’ easier.
The main guest of the seminar, the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Tajul Islam, said: ‘Innovative and effective solutions must be found to ensure proper waste management. Waste management can be made sustainable if the waste collection process is adopted as a profitable business. Then following a circular process is an effective solution.
The value chain consists of micro-entrepreneurs, scrappers and waste collectors. Mentioning that this sector is informal but very important, he assured to support this sector, while at the same time the minister urged to create an appropriate structure for sustainable plastic waste management in the interest of the environment and economy.
Special guest Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Shahab Uddin said: ‘Waste management is a complex process. Many stakeholders and sectors are involved. The Minister of the Environment considered it necessary to formulate policy in a coordinated initiative with various ministries, related government agencies and brands.
To create a circular plastic economy, institutional and structural measures need to be identified and the public and private sectors need to work together for effective plastic waste management. The minister expressed the hope that Bangladesh will be known as a role model in sustainable plastic waste management through proper planning and policy formulation.
Unilever Bangladesh CEO and MD Javed Akhtar said: ‘We have undertaken several pilot projects with city companies in the field of plastic waste management. These initiatives
Without proper facilitation and support, other organizations will not be encouraged to take such initiatives. Bangladesh Plastic Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association BPGMEA President Shamim Ahmed said the plastic sector is the driving force behind all industries in the country. He recommended more investment and infrastructure facilities by government agencies in plastic waste management, providing incentives and tax breaks to private sector initiatives.
Speaking to the panel discussion, World Bank senior environmental expert U Ju Alison L said: ‘We are ready to work with the Bangladesh government and industry to strengthen plastic waste management. We want to help formulate and invest activities for this. Urban businesses and coastal areas must work towards a circular economy by innovating alternatives to plastic and thus creating new jobs.
In addition, FBCCI Panel Advisor and Bangladesh Environment Movement Co-Secretary, City Planner Iqbal Habib, City Planner of Narayanganj City Corporation participated in the panel discussion. Mainul Islam and Managing Director and CEO of Bangladesh Petrochemical Company Khadem Mahmud Yusuf.