People in Bahrain keen to join green revolution

PEOPLE are keen to join the green revolution in Bahrain and more recycle bins around the kingdom could contribute towards overall Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management, according to a recently published scientific journal paper by a unique collaboration of leading international female academics.

Data was gathered through a questionnaire-based survey of 300 respondents to determine their understanding of the environmental mindset and their willingness to participate in waste minimisation strategies in the form of waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

Among the recommendations was the provision of more ‘Materials Recovery Facilities’ (MRFs) which gather metals, glass, plastics, paper and cardboard due to the higher economic value of these materials in addition to the significant amount of energy consumed to make those materials – therefore reducing CO2 emissions caused by energy-intensive operations to produce them.

The report entitled: ‘Assessment of public awareness and opinions toward waste minimisation through a survey in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ was conducted by Dr Hanan Al Buflasa, Roshini Sreenivas, Alia Mustafa Khan and Warda Aloqab from Bahrain University College of Science Department of Physics.

Also taking part in the research was Dr Gulnur Coskuner from British University of Bahrain College of Engineering and the Built Environment Department of Civil Engineering and Dr Tanja Radu from Loughborough University School of Architecture Building and Civil Engineering.

“Our paper was accepted a long time ago but online publication just became available in June 2023,” Dr Coskuner told followers on her LinkedIn social media account.

“This piece of work has special meaning to me as all contributing authors are female.

“In the engineering field, the number of female researchers are less than male ones and male academics or researchers are commonly collaborating with each other. I hope that we can see more collaborations and shared publications between both genders in the future.”

According to the data collected, women (73 per cent) showed a higher incidence of willingness to segregate recyclable material into separate bags for collection in comparison to men (64pc) while only 5pc said they would not be willing to do so.

“The complex problem of waste management could present an opportunity for Bahrain to develop and implement a world-leading environmentally sound waste strategy,” said the researchers in their report.

“Waste minimisation practices can potentially contribute to the overall improvement of MSW management with additional support for the circular economy, particularly with the high content of recyclable materials in municipal solid waste in Bahrain.

“Results of our survey showed that low waste auditing currently occurs, concurrent with limited incentives to divert waste from landfill.

“Survey respondents showed a clear latent to embrace waste reduction policies and recycling initiatives and this indicates that government initiatives to encourage and facilitate recycling opportunities would be welcomed and accepted.

“We recommend an integrated approach for the application of waste minimisation practices in Bahrain which might include the introduction of public policies and adaptation of educational and awareness programmes.”

They also recommended the provision of MRFs for recyclable materials and increasing the number of recycle bins in Bahrain.

According to research, avoiding waste to landfill requires a multi-faceted approach involving cultural and political factors.

The data revealed that more women (39pc) than men (23pc) also expressed a willingness to give up plastic bottles in favour of using glass – regardless of the circumstances while 51pc of men, compared to 42pc of women, said that they would only be willing to stop using plastic bags if it was financially attractive.

“The survey explored the differences between the educational level, gender, age, nationality and social class of the participants regarding their level of public awareness and attitude towards MSW management practices,” they added in their research.

“Only 62 per cent of the respondents knew that MSW has been disposed to a landfill site in Bahrain and this relatively low rate indicates the requirements for educational and awareness programmes in Bahrain. Meanwhile, 78pc of the respondents believe that the improvement of waste management is the responsibility of all individuals, communities, companies and government.

“An additional 10pc also consider that it is the accountability of the individuals only therefore 88pc of the respondents showed awareness of their own responsibilities in waste management.”

The complex problem of waste management could present an ‘opportunity for Bahrain’ to develop and implement a world-leading environmentally-sound waste strategy, the reports concludes.




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