Monday, July 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

29 per cent of landfill waste in 2021 was plastic

Plastic waste makes up 29 per cent of some 229,496 tonnes of disposed material in landfills in 2021, said Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar in a World Environment Day message.

It is the second top waste composition in landfills, said the minister, adding that in a nationwide marine debris campaign conducted last year, 80 per cent of waste collected from beaches were plastics, a majority of which were plastic bottles.

“As a person who inhabits on this Earth, we can tackle these issues by collectively incorporating the concept of sustainability into our lifestyle, with ‘Whole-of-Government’ and ‘Whole-of-Nation’ approaches.

Simple sustainable lifestyle choices can be made through the switch to using re-usables and reducing the consumption of disposable or single-use plastics,” he said.

“As a consumer, every individual has the choice to choose green and sustainable products.

“Choosing these products can help trigger the transition to a greener economy and further supporting a sustainable lifestyle, ultimately leading to living in sync with nature. By consuming only what we need, we can prevent wastage.

The minister said, “World Environment Day is a widely celebrated annually on June 5. It is a platform for a collective environmental outreach across the world to protect the environment.

“This year’s World Environment Day theme is ‘Only One Earth’ where the theme is in line with the Stockholm Conference’s slogan, where among others, it highlights that the Earth is still the only liveble planet the humans can inhabit.

“We are fortunately blessed with a green and beautiful Earth that has been granted from Allah the Almighty. It is our shared responsibility to preserve and protect this Earth from pollution.

“As we can witness nowadays, the existing balance needed by the creatures of this Earth have begun to be threatened as a consequence from human pursuits for the purpose of development and economic growth. Uncontrolled activities can also lead to inevitably result in the growth of environmental issues such as the global warming, nature and biodiversity loss, air pollution, water pollution and marine debris.

“According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), if we were to continue our business-as-usual scenario, the annual plastic wastes entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million tonnes in 2016 to 23-37 million tonnes by 2040.

“This year, the Ministry of Development will be joining the Eco Festival in conjunction with Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (MYCE) 2022 that will be held at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

“The Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation has organised a trash-to-treasure competition which opens to the public.

“The competition aims to raise public awareness on the potential to repurpose waste materials creatively or upcycle them into functional arts or sculptures.

“It also addresses the importance of reuse and encourages the public to consider alternative ways to reuse the items, as a measure to reduce landfill waste.

“In conjunction with the World Environment Day, I would like to emphasise that every action and commitment are significant in keeping our nation’s environment clean and free from pollution. Let us act now and start living sustainably for the sake of our future generations. Our choice is their future.”