Muscat: Ithraa, the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development, yesterday concluded its inside stories with the last session, entitled ‘The Circular Economy’, discussing waste, return, reuse and recycle.
Ten years ago, 2.9 billion urban residents generated about 0.64kg of municipal waste (MSW) per person per day – that amount resulted in 0.68 billion tonnes of waste per year.
Environmental experts estimate that by 2025, 4.3 billion urban residents will generate 1.42kg per person per day of MSW, the equivalent of 2.2 billion tonnes per year.
At the same time, Oman’s population is projected to reach 4.9 million by 2025, with each person generating 1.2kg of waste per day.
“The negative repercussions of generating such large amounts of waste are simply staggering. Indeed, once you start to think about them, it’s very hard to think about anything else,” pointed out the OAPGRC Executive Director.
Joining Dr Al Saady on the panel was Sheikh Mohammed Al Harthi, Executive Vice President Strategic Development, Be’ah, Dr Mahad Baawain, Associate Professor, Sultan Qaboos University, Dr Steve Halls, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, and Saleh Al Shukaili, Permitting Advisor, BP Oman.
“We have to realise that continued economic growth can’t come at the expense of Oman’s environment. To address this, we need to further integrate waste management systems, while making reduced environmental impact a national priority,” stressed Dr Al Saady.
“We should be looking to build a new generation of small businesses that manufacture clean products and services. This would create local and diverse jobs right across the sultanate, especially in areas such as eco-design, waste prevention, repair and recycling, as well as new services based on renting or sharing products,” commented Sajda Al Ghaithi, Ithraa’s Media Director.
Further, he believes most people would repair and re-use more, if they only knew how. “What if we had an Oman guide on how and where to repair clothes, furniture and white goods? What if we had a financial incentive to return old products, so materials and parts could be re-used? These are exciting possibilities,explained Al Ghaithi.”