Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 7, 1445 H
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Ditch the habit of ocean dumping to save environment


Hibba al Kindi, who went snorkelling, found a Uno card on the sea floor.

“It was weird because it was at the bottom, and it was a reverse Uno card,” she said.

Symbolic indeed, as if asking us to reverse our actions.

At some scenic places, one can see the birds, and then, on a closer look, the trash consists of plastic bags, slippers, discarded pampers, etc.

The discarded materials thrown in the sea return to the shore. There have been international stories of microplastics found in water ending up in the human body. Environmental pollution has been a significant concern, and many measures have been taken.

In Oman today, dumping waste in the sea could lead to a fine of thousands and imprisonment.

If anyone dumps waste or any other harmful material in water, the Environment Authority will impose penalties as per law.

Dumping any material in the marine environment, regardless of its type, shape or condition, is an environmental offence.

The penalty can go up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to RO 50,000.

This fine is because the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law prohibits dumping waste or any other materials of any kind, shape or condition in the marine environment without a permit from the Environment Agency.

It has also specified a penalty for violators on imprisonment, “For no less than a month and not exceeding two years and a fine of no less than RO 5,000 and no more than RO 50,000, or one of these two penalties.” The Environment Authority has worked on an initiative to create the National Waste Register, a digital national programme. The system aims to know the quantities of waste and its sources, whether at the individual level, shops, industrial facilities, government agencies, etc. It also allows the registration of waste collectors and transporters, including recycling factories and final disposal facilities (engineering landfills). This brings in hazardous waste storage and treatment facilities and the last disposal facility.

It facilitates obtaining data and evaluating local conditions, as well as the methods of providing waste management services. According to the Authority, the system also makes it easier for investors to know the sources and quantities of waste. It facilitates evaluation and proposes mechanisms to deal with it.

In addition, the measure works to strengthen monitoring and inspection operations, following up on compliance with environmental requirements, obtaining licenses, and avoiding random disposal of them in undesignated places.

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