Environmentalists wage war against plastic trash

Photo Environmental activists take part in a trash collecting campaign to mark World Environment Day 2018 on the Yangon River on Saturday. Nyan Zay Htet/The Myanmar TImes

4 June 18 - An estimated 200 tonnes of plastic waste is being dumped in the country's waterways every day, causing serious harm to the environment, environmentalists warned.

Friedor Jeske, an expert in solid waste management with long experience in Myanmar, said the amount of plastic waste in the country has tripled since last year.

He urged people to minimise, if not stop using, plastic.

Hanna Helsingen, manager of the green economy programme at World Wild Fund for Nature-Myanmar, lamented that many people use plastic materials only once and then throw them away. 

"Over time they break up into tiny particles and pollute our water and food," Helsingen said.

Materials made of plastic never entirely decompose so they end up in toxic mountains of trash and in our oceans, killing millions of seabirds and marine animals, according a statement of Thant Myanmar, an environmental group.

The organisation is spearheading initiatives to raise people's awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and to mobilise action to reduce plastic waste in the country.

Thant Myanmar hopes to minimise the use of plastic in the country and convince people to recycle and reuse plastic.

"We can all be part of the solution through simple lifestyle changes and choices such as refusing a plastic straw or bringing your own bag or basket when you go shopping instead of accepting yet another plastic bag," said Thet Htwe from Thant Myanmar.

Worldwide, only 10 percent of plastic items are recycled. The rest end up in landfills and bodies of water, Thant Myanmar said.

Thant Myanmar is comprised of individuals and orgnisations such as the Myanmar Environmental Conservation Department, the European Union, the French embassy, Yoma Bank and Yoma Strategic Holdings, Shwe Taung group, United Nations Environment Programme, Myanmar Center for Responsible Business, Myanmar Responsible Toursim Institute, and WWF-Myanmar, among others.

Ahead of World Environment Day on Tuesday, Thant Myanmar and its partners will launch a campaign to urge people to reduce the use of plastic.

​Source: Myanmar Times

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