Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t set to act on plastic waste

Gov’t set to act on plastic waste

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said plastic waste was a concern in Cambodia. Photo supplied

Gov’t set to act on plastic waste

The government, civil societies and relevant partners have jointly committed to acting on the plastic waste crisis that is adversely affecting the environment, wildlife and public health.

The joint commitment was made on Tuesday during the “Action Against Plastic Waste in Cambodia” forum in the capital, which was attended by more than 100 participants.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) country economist Richard Marshall said worldwide plastic usage had so far reached 8.3 billion tonnes, equivalent to the weight of more than one billion elephants.

According to a forecast, without timely intervention, plastic waste could reach 34 billion tonnes by 2050.

“We live in a world that consists of plastics and in our lifetime, we [will] encounter problems [from] spending more on it. These problems are not easily solved, while it takes hundreds of years for [plastics] to disintegrate,” Marshall said.

He said that every year some eight million tonnes of plastic waste flowed into the sea through major rivers, the Mekong River included. So only changes in the attitude of each person against using plastics can prevent the increase in its usage, he said.

Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said at the forum that plastic waste was a concern in Cambodia, citing that the Kingdom had seen a sharp increase in its use.

The living habits of people, food packaging and the general lack of awareness in proper waste disposal have contributed to this increase, he said. Reducing the public’s daily plastic usage, he said, could solve this problem.

“[The plastic waste crisis] has seriously harmed biodiversity, sea life and natural resources. It also poses risks to public wellbeing. Asean countries have acknowledged the need to take joint action against plastic waste [pollution]. Cambodia is also firmly committed to this,” he stressed.

Pheaktra maintained that Cambodia had taken preventive measures against the crisis by stopping plastic waste from being imported into the country for recycling.

Additionally, the ministry continued to spread awareness on the dire effects of plastic waste pollution and how to properly dispose of plastics.

Last year, a total of 1,709,379 tonnes of solid waste was disposed at the dumpsite, an increase of more than 200,000 tonnes or about 13.68 per cent from 2017.

Additionally, according to the ministry, Cambodia produces more than four million tonnes of waste a year, of which some 20 per cent is plastic. Phnom Penh produces most of the waste, accounting for some 3,000 tonnes each day.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Tragedy as four lions devour teenager in Pakistan safari park

    In a horrifying incident at an animal park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, four lions killed a 17-year-old grass reaper. However, how Muhammad Bilal Hussain managed to get near the lions was yet to be ascertained. Safari officials said Hussain climbed a 3.7m high

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • Gloom hits Siem Reap tourism

    As the Kingdom’s overall tourism sector continued to grow last year, industry insiders in Siem Reap have expressed their deep concerns, citing a sharp drop in Chinese arrivals to the province beginning late last month. Cambodia earned $4.91 billion in international tourism revenue last year,