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Environment Ministry advises people to stop using used electronics

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Environment Minister Say Sam Al speaks at a forum on naturalresources last year in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Environment Ministry advises people to stop using used electronics

Minister of Environment Say Sam Al on Monday urged people to stop using second-hand electronic products.

He said the practice will not only help protect the environment but reduce electricity consumption.

The remarks were made during a conference on Improving Energy Efficiently in Cambodia: A Crucial Step Towards Sustainable Growth, which was hosted by the National Council of Sustainable Development, the Swedish government and the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA).

Sam Al said the ministry will step up efforts to raise awareness about the effects of using second-hand electronic products.

He said the Environment Ministry will meet with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to discuss a reduction in the import of second-hand electronic and plastic products.

“What we want to do is promote the concept of using less second-hand products. Through this meeting, I will request the Ministry of Economy and Finance to consider reducing the import of second-hand products,” he said.

Swedish Ambassador to Cambodia Maria Sargren said efficient energy consumption is very important to help Cambodia achieve sustainable growth.

“During the last 30 years, the Swedish government has been going through tremendous reforms, including efforts to increase energy production and improve energy efficiency, which is necessary for economic growth,” she said.

Commerce Ministry spokesmen Seang Thay and Long Kemvichet could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director Sorn Chey said for the initiative to be effective, the government would need to gradually eliminate second-hand electronic products and reduce the tax on the import of brand-new, high-quality ones so that people who have a decent income can afford them.

“We can achieve that but the government would receive lower tax revenues. If they think second-hand products cause a lot of problems, they need to take different approaches that could enable people to buy brand new and quality products."

“We need to raise awareness about the effects caused by second-hand products,” he said.

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