Two new sub-committees on recycling and green growth will be formed under the existing Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC) in order to hold regular discussions on critical issues related to sustainable development in the private sector.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Ziaul Hasan shared the information yesterday at the third meeting of the SGGWC held virtually to discuss different tools and policies for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the plastic industry.
EPR is a policy option that makes producers responsible for a share of the post-consumer waste management.
The responsibility can be physical or financial. For example, the producer can pay for or engage in the collection and management of the waste generated during production.
The ministry will work closely with Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) as well as other relevant stakeholders to ensure an effective EPR policy for the plastic industry, Hasan said.
“We are seriously concerned about pollution control and in that respect, we issued a statutory regulatory order in 2018 on EPRs but it could not play a proper role,” he added. In addition to waste recycling and management, companies also need to promote green growth by adopting a wider range of environment-friendly models and solutions, BUILD Chairperson Abul Kasem Khan said.
This includes using jute-based pulp, bamboo-based fibres, bio-fuel from waste and so on, he said.
While pointing out that neighbouring countries are coming up with innovative and sustainable business solutions, Khan underscored the importance for close and regular cooperation among public and private entities through the SGGWC and its two proposed sub-committees.
BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said Bangladesh Bank revised the provisions of the Green Transformation Fund to make it more accessible for all manufacturer-exporters for importing environment-friendly machinery.
Similarly, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) issued a statutory regulatory order to get battery-run electric vehicles registered.
Wasim Zakariah, chairman of the standing committee on research and development at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, endorsed the formation of the two committees so that comprehensive policies in these important areas can be framed.
Besides, sectoral incentives should be based on that sector or industry’s contribution to recycling.
“The government may come up with policy incentives for garment factories in order to promote plastic waste management,” Zakariah said.
“We currently do not have any kind of chemical safety management policy in place, which leads to accidents around our industry,” he added.
Zakariah also urged the government to form a platform that would be responsible for recycling all kinds of waste.