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Oman’s be’ah plans first-ever Waste Trading Platform

Circular Economy: Smart Digital System planned for development to create value for the recycling industry in Oman, says be’ah
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be’ah, the state-owned entity responsible for managing solid waste services in the Sultanate of Oman, says it is developing a first-of-its-kind platform to facilitate auctions and trades in recyclable wastes – a move designed to further bolster the growth of a circular economy in the country.

be’ah – part of Oman Investment Authority - said the initiative will help optimise the retention of waste in-country and spur investments in recycling and value-adding ventures across multiple waste streams.

The proposed trading platform, said be’ah, “will enable all stakeholders to have full overview of available recyclable wastes, quantities, generators and quality of waste, and so on”.

“A smart Digital System is planned for development in the coming year to support this initiative and create value for the recycling industry in Oman. The trading platform will display live waste prices based on the local pricing index (which be’ah is also developing) prompting transparency in the process,” said be’ah, adding that a proposal to this effect has already been shared with the relevant stakeholder agencies of the government.

In recent years, be’ah has been working with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP), among other governmental departments, to showcase the recyclable waste sector as a lucrative area for investment through in-country value (ICV) creation.

Studies have pointed to a proliferation of Omani small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) operating in the collection, segregation, recycling and export of products and commodities emerging from the country’s nascent circular economy. In addition to players specialising in the collection and recycling of paper and cardboard waste, scrap metal, plastics and lead acid batteries (LABs), several new investors have ventured into used cooking oil (UCO) and waste tyre recycling as well.

According to be’ah, only a modest percentage of the large volumes of recyclable waste streams generated in the country is currently captured and recycled. This opens up significant opportunities for investment with attendant economic benefits in the form of SME growth, job creation and economic development as well.

Particularly promising are investment opportunities related to scrap copper waste, fish waste, engine oil waste, glass waste, wood waste, used tyre waste and plastic waste, it has pointed out.

Market experts agree that the proposed trading platform will help connect recyclers with industrial consumers who can benefit from the availability of competitively priced local resources over pricier imports.

At present, many local recyclers prefer to ship their recyclable waste out of the country to benefit from higher market prices. But this outflow of commercially valuable waste robs local manufacturers, as well as the domestic economy, of the opportunity to further process the waste into higher-value products – a process that also creates jobs.

A live trading platform, operating in conjunction with regulations that prohibit the export of certain types of recyclable waste (which is presently in force), will go a long way in spurring the growth of a thriving circular economy.

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