https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=pUuXo1IWhd10Ug
logo
Muscat Municipality's plastic curbs proposal welcomed
April 15, 2018 | 9:24 PM
by Times News Service
The Environment Society of Oman, which has long held that cutting back on plastic use was essential to preserve the health of the oceans, has welcomed the move. Photo-File
 
Sharelines

Muscat: People in Oman have reacted positively to the proposal to reduce the amount of plastic being used in the country.

Muscat Municipality had mooted the proposal at a Municipal Council meeting last Monday, saying hypermarkets and shops should provide paper bags to customers in place of plastic bags, in addition to turning in plastic bags for a nominal recycling fee.

The Environment Society of Oman, which has long held that cutting back on plastic use was essential to preserve the health of the oceans, has welcomed the move.

ESO’s Programme Director Suaad Al Harthi said, “ESO is very supportive of a reduction in the use of single-use plastic bags and a move towards reusable alternatives. Various types of plastic, including plastic bags, pose a threat to humans, marine life and the environment in general as they are very persistent and take hundreds of years to break down.”



“Our oceans are littered with plastic, which makes its way to the sea and is then ingested by sea turtles, sea birds and other marine life causing their suffocation or starvation. Likewise, plastic ends up in deserts and threatens camels and other wildlife,” he added. “As plastic breaks down, it also enters the food chain and is then ingested by humans by way of seafood.”

Dr Bashir A.P., head of internal medicine at Badr Al Sama Hospital, said reducing the use of plastic and replacing it with alternatives was desirable. “It would definitely be a good move. There is a lot of plastic being used these days, but many people don’t realise that the material is carcinogenic (it can cause cancer). So, it is better to shun it altogether.”

“It is an especially big problem in the Middle East because when you carry water in a plastic bottle and expose it to sunlight, it causes chemical pollution,” he added.

‘Switch to jute bags’

T Bhaskaran, convenor, Indian Social Club (ISC) Malayalam wing, said that to cut down on plastic use one needed to have an alternative, and that jute bags were an excellent choice. “When people go to supermarkets, they should carry their own jute bags, rather than depending on the plastic bags they are given at the shop. We see this happening in India and the west. Plastic consumption is being brought down slowly,” said Bhaskaran.

“It is indeed a good decision. Plastic causes environmental problems. The government is right in considering this proposal,” he added.

STAY UPDATED
Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news