Thursday, October 28, 2021 | Rabi' al-awwal 21, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

ESO, European Union to launch series on plastic pollution
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The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has partnered with the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman and the European Environmental Bureau to deliver a series of virtual workshops throughout June 2021 on the issue of plastic pollution in Oman and the region. The webinars will share European experiences of addressing environmental issues, specifically plastic pollution, with different groups and organisations across the country.


Plastic is one of the fastest-growing pollutants in Oman and measures are already being taken to address this issue, such as the ban on single-use plastic bags, which came into force on January 1, 2021. The webinar series aims to increase public awareness of the issue and help to promote change by encouraging people to avoid plastic waste in their lives. The workshops will also explore concrete measures in sustainable production and consumption, retail and waste management.


“We launched our ‘It’s Time’ campaign at the beginning of the year, aiming to draw attention to the issues surrounding litter, single-use plastics and recycling. As part of a line-up of events, we are happy to collaborate on this informative series to promote the adoption of environmentally conscious community behaviours’’, said Suaad al Harthi, Executive Director at ESO.


He added, “Oman is blessed with abundant wildlife and a diverse natural environment, and it’s important that we act now to prevent it from degradation. Accepting alternatives to single-use plastics is a small step that we can take to safeguard our health and our environment for future generations to enjoy.”


Finding solutions to plastic waste is a top priority for the European Union. Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “The Green Deal aims to build a healthy planet for all. To provide a toxic-free environment for people and the planet, we have to act now. This plan will guide our work to get there. New green technologies already here can help reduce pollution and offer new business opportunities. Europe’s efforts to build back a cleaner, fairer and more sustainable economy must likewise contribute to achieving the zero-pollution ambition.”


Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Environmental pollution negatively affects our health, especially the most vulnerable and socially deprived groups, and is also one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. The case for the EU to lead the global fight against pollution is today stronger than ever. With the Zero Pollution Action Plan, we will create a healthy living environment for Europeans, contribute to a resilient recovery and boost transition to a clean, circular and climate neutral economy.”


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“Plastic pollution is a global issue that needs national and local actions. We are glad to see Oman joining the network of active countries on the topic and we hope to be helpful for the Omani society, from highest authorities to communities, to identify the best solutions to address the plastic pollution challenge’’, said Piotr Barczak, Senior Policy Officer for Circular Economy and Waste at the European Environment Bureau.


The first webinar, entitled “Let’s end the plastic pollution crisis — current state and paths towards solutions” will take place on June 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm Muscat time. Aiming to promote sustainable consumption within society, it will be open to the general public. Details of the programme and the registration link can be found at https://bit.ly/3gm2Lc3.


The second webinar, entitled ‘Policy approaches and instruments to address plastic pollution at source’ is a technical event focused mainly on corporates aiming to raise awareness about sustainable production. It will take place on June 29 at 10:00 am Muscat time and will bring together European and Omani experts. Details of the programme and registration link can be found at https://bit.ly/2ThPiud.


A third webinar aimed at Omani government representatives will take place on June 30, 2021.


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