Comprehensive law, policy for e-waste demanded

Green activists and journalists at a briefing on Saturday demanded comprehensive policy to address the increasing problem of electronic waste and its management for a sustainable Bangladesh.

They said that e-waste kept increasing by 20 per cent every year in Bangladesh.

E-waste contains highly toxic chemical components contaminating soil, groundwater and air and affect the workers and the community living around it.

Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment organised the briefing titled ‘Necessity of Immediate Enactment of E-waste Management Law for Environmental Sustainability in Bangladesh’ both virtually and in-person at its office in the city.

VOICE executive director, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud moderated the press briefing while Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon joint secretary Mihir Biswas, environmentalist Afzal Rehman, SETU executive director Abdul Quader, Daily Jaijaidin business editor Ahmed Tofail and Banglavision news editor Md Abdur Rahman spoke at the press briefing.

VOICE programme officer Abtab Khan Shawon presented a keynote based on the research findings of VOICE on ‘E-waste state in Bangladesh: existing policy and policy gaps’.

The keynote stated that, in 2018, Bangladesh produced about 4 lakh tonnes of e-waste with about 20 per cent growth per year.

The recyclers are getting only 3 per cent of the total generated waste, while the rest is dumped into landfills, the study found. There is specific law for e-waste management and recycling but no noticeable implementation of this law observed, said Abtab.

There is no enough formal plant for recycling of e-waste in Bangladesh, according to the keynote paper.

Emphasising on the awareness among people about e-waste, Afzal Rahman demanded guidelines from education ministry to set-up a mandatory environment club in every secondary school and colleges in Bangladesh to create awareness among children and young people on the challenge and health hazard of use of unregulated electronic goods and generated e-waste from it.

Mihir Biswas said that the digital technologies created scope of an inclusive digital economy as well as achieving the flagship ambition of the SDGs.

They demanded an integrated collaboration of policy formulation and intervention, community awareness, effective waste management system, evidence creation and recycling of e-waste through public private partnership participation.

Source: New Age