Expo focus on plastic waste

A MOUNTAIN of plastic waste was the centrepiece of an environment awareness exhibition that opened in Seef Mall yesterday.

‘Let’s Protect Our Environment From Plastics’ also featured educational platforms highlighting the history of plastic as well as a virtual reality experience and a children’s wing.

Organised by the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE), the five-day expo marks National Environment Day and aims to raise awareness about the dangers of using plastic and the need to find substitutes.

SCE chief executive Dr Mohammed Bin Daina said key rules and regulations are set to be imposed to protect Bahrain’s environment.

“We have stopped importing non-biodegradable plastic and changed the specifications of all 24 plastic manufacturing factories in Bahrain from non-biodegradable to biodegradable,” he said.

“There is also a move towards making plastic food mats biodegradable and eliminate any plastic knives, plates and forks.”

He also revealed efforts are underway to encourage bakeries to stop using plastic to wrap bread and other bakery products in.

Meanwhile, National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD) secretary general Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa underlined the importance of continuing with the efforts launched at the exhibition.

“It’s not a matter of celebrating this event once a year; it’s a matter of sending this message repeatedly everywhere and it’s not just the SCE responsible for this – yes they take the lead – but everybody can play a role,” she told the GDN.

“It’s important to learn that there are now companies in Bahrain that take material for recycling so it’s much easier than it used to be.

“There are ways to make that waste count and I think each one of us can play a role.”

Animal and Environment Protection Charity Organisation (Aepco) president Shaikha Marwa bint Abdulrahman Al Khalifa said the most important issue globally today was the world “drowning in plastic”.

“This is a collective effort, it’s not only the government’s part; I think people should buy less as the consumers are the most powerful force in the world,” she said.

“I think Bahrain is one of the highest polluted countries in the world and I think the government and NGOs are working tirelessly and hard towards reversing the damage that has been done.”

Northern Municipal Council member Dr Sayed Shubbar Al Wedaie, who is also an environmental expert, said awareness needs to be followed up by laws and regulations.

“I don’t want to say that plastic pollution is out of control but it is a dilemma that needs extensive study across its various facets and a national programme to combat this issue,” he told the GDN.

“We need to come together as a society to combat this dilemma and it is crucial to elevate awareness in order to carry out this process smoothly.”

The exhibition continues until Saturday near Costa Coffee at Seef Mall in the Seef District and is open to all.

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/760358

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