Brunei’s Strategies for Plastic Sustainability explored in a seminar organised as part of Brunei Darussalam’s World Environment Day event series

Kamal Porang

- Redaksi

Rabu, 26 Juni 2024 - 15:33 WIB

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ERIA’s Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris, in collaboration with Brunei’s Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation and GIZ, Hosts Event Exploring Brunei’s Plastic Pollution Strategies and the Private Sector’s Role in Championing Plastic Circularity, organised as part of Brunei Darussalam’s World Environment Day event series.

ERIA’s Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris, in collaboration with Brunei Darussalam’s Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation and the GIZ, explored Brunei’s strategies to tackle plastic pollution and the private sector’s role in championing plastic circularity.

Titled “Private Sector Initiatives to Reduce Marine Plastics: Brunei’s Journey to Plastic Sustainability: Hands-on Initiatives in Action,” the event, organised as part of Brunei Darussalam’s World Environment Day event series, brought together professionals from the public and private sectors, along with civil society, to explore innovative solutions and best practices in addressing plastic pollution. Over 108 attendees from the ASEAN region and beyond took part in the event, actively participating in the Q&A session.

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The seminar began with the Director of the Regional Knowledge Centre, Mr Reo Kawamura emphasising the critical importance of collaboration between governments, private companies, and academia to address the global plastic pollution challenge and achieve peaceful coexistence with the natural environment. Ms Hajah Martinah Haji Tamit, Director of Brunei Darussalam’s Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation, outlined the challenges of plastic waste management and reaffirmed Brunei’s commitment to tackling plastic pollution alongside other ASEAN member states. She also highlighted Brunei’s active involvement in United Nations negotiations to develop a global treaty on plastic pollution.

Mr Phong Giang, Advisor for GIZ 3RproMar and AMUSE programmes in ASEAN, detailed GIZ’s initiatives across ASEAN countries, which include supporting government regulations, promoting circular economy solutions, and engaging with the private sector on upcoming global plastic treaties.

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Mr Michikazu Kojima, Senior Research Fellow on Environmental Issues at ERIA, highlighted Asia’s plastic pollution crisis and underscored the need for a life cycle approach. He emphasised the private sector’s role in developing sustainable materials, designing reusable products, and improving waste management systems. Mr Mims Sidi from Tebalik Plastik shared their goals to close the loop of plastics, by transforming plastic waste into sustainable products, supporting a circular economy and aligning with regional and global sustainability objectives.

Ms Trish Lai of Kaimana Brunei discussed the challenges of the refill business which can contribute to reduction of packaging waste, for example, high consumer spending abroad, a small local market, expensive shipping, lack of manufacturing capacity, and the necessity of focusing on niche products with anchor points. Ms Wendy Han from Precious Plastic Brunei highlighted initiatives aimed at raising awareness and mobilising local communities against plastic waste. She also showed how local communities can create a plastic recycling facility on their own.

Prof Scott Valentine provided insights into how the lack of perceived value in plastic waste is a root cause and proposed economic solutions like deposit schemes and plastic bag surcharges to incentivise responsible plastic use and recycling. He also responded to a participant’s question as to how to tackle the overwhelming plastic waste issue, by encouraging citizens to support businesses like Tebalik Plastik, Kaimana, or Precious Plastic, and start contributing in a small way.

This seminar highlights the continuous involvement of ERIA’s Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris in tackling the intricate challenges linked to marine plastic debris. By encouraging collaboration and advancing innovative approaches, the Centre remains dedicated to assisting and showcasing companies and organisations actively addressing marine debris issues

List of Abbreviations

ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia)

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ERIA is an international organization established in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008 by a formal agreement among Leaders of 16 countries in the East Asian region to conduct research activities and make policy recommendations for further economic integration in the East Asia

Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation

The formation of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation under the Ministry of Development took effect in 2002. Currently, the department handles matters pertaining to Waste Management, Environmental Conservation and Management, Management of Landscape and Recreational Areas and also Environmental Cooperation at National, Bilateral and International level.

GIZ

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH or GIZ is the main German Government development agency with headquarter in Bonn and Eschborn and provides services in the field of international development cooperation and international education work. The main commissioning party is Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

GIZ 3RproMar Programme

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to Protect the Marine Environment and Coral Reefs (3RproMar) is a GIZ project (2020-2025) is an ASEAN-German cooperation project implemented by GIZ in coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat.

GIZ AMUSE

ASEAN Municipal Solid Waste Management Enhancement (AMUSE) is implemented by GIZ (2022 -2025), having its objective to improve environmental quality in small and medium-sized cities in the ASEAN region by optimising waste disposal and recycling.

About RKCMPD

The Centre was established in 2019 under the ERIA, is mandated to support ASEAN+3 Member States in addressing marine plastic pollution. Its activities include supporting research and data collection to inform science-based policy, disseminating scientific knowledge, facilitating capacity-building at national and regional levels, fostering collaborative networks and regional partnerships, and promoting private sector innovations in the region.

This Press Release has also been published on VRITIMES

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