Green activists and civil society members on Saturday urged the government to implement electronic waste management rules properly and recycle e-waste for public health and environmental safety.
At a seminar titled Review of E-waste Rules 2021 and Business Models’ Compliance of Electronic Goods Manufacturers with Environmental Sustainability, the speakers emphasised the importance of identifying and removing legal loopholes and creating awareness among consumers and other stakeholders.
Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, a non-governmental organisation, organised the seminar at its Civic Centre in the capital’s Mohammadpur area, according to a press release.
Executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud moderated the event with journalist Selim Samad in the chair.
Swapan Mahmud said that only three per cent of e-waste was managed correctly in Bangladesh, and cell phones were major e-waste in Bangladesh.
‘About half of all mobile phone consumers buy more than one each year and throw away the previous one, which creates an enormous amount of e-waste,’ he said.
Selim Samad urged the government to research and gather data on the number of electronic products turning into e-waste.
‘To build an eco-friendly e-waste recycling system, all the central and local government components should work together and take action based on credible data,’ he said.
The meeting had two presentations on the review of the E-waste Management Rule 2021 and a survey on a business model of e-waste.
The survey said that the government should consider launching e-waste management pilot projects on public-private partnerships at the divisional level.
It also said that the Department of Environment should work on the loopholes and weaknesses of the e-management system, including keeping exceptions for radioactive waste.
Mihir Biswas, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon’s joint secretary and environmental activist Aminur Rasul, among others, attended the event.
Besides, leaders of various environmental and social movements and representatives of various professional associations, including NGOs, civil society representatives, teachers, journalists and gender rights activists, attended the event.
By 2035, Bangladesh will generate 46.20 lakh tonnes of e-waste annually.