The need for a holistic approach to addressing plastic pollution was recognised by stakeholders during a recent panel discussion.
The event was hosted by the EMC Foundation, in collaboration with GTT and Herdmanston Lodge, on Friday last ahead of the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day on Monday, June 5, 2023. Its aim was to raise awareness on plastic pollution, its impacts and solutions to mitigate them.
The Panel was made up of Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Guyana, Yeşim Oruç; former Chairman and Honourary Secretary of the Private Sector Commission, Paul Cheong; Managing Director of Environmental Management Consultants Inc., Shyam Nokta; Senior Private Sector Leader, Ramesh Dookhoo, and Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kemraj Parsram. It was moderated by Kandila Ramotar from EMC.
The event, which was live-streamed on the EMC Foundation Facebook Page, attracted participation from several organisations and individuals and provided an opportunity for the panelists to share views and interact with each other as well as respond to questions from the audience.
The panelists discussed the international attention and urgency of addressing plastic pollution and the efforts through the United Nations to mobilise countries to take action. There was recognition that there are opportunities in Guyana for recycling, re-use, and replacing plastics and there are already initiatives in these areas which need to be supported.
One of the key outcomes of the discussion was the need for a holistic approach involving not only Government organizations but the private sector and civil society. There was general agreement that a coordinated and continued effort should be undertaken to address this important national and global issue. Several areas for action were highlight including policy and legislation, improving solid waste management systems and practices, monitoring and enforcement, public awareness and education, as well as incentives for consumers and companies.
In an effort to ensure that this issue of plastic pollution continues to receive attention, the EMC Foundation will continue to organize activities aimed at bringing stakeholders together to find solutions.
Established by Shyam Nokta, winner of the 2022 Anthony N Sabga Award for Entrepreneurship, the EMC Foundation works to support environmental awareness and education in Guyana by promoting activities which encourage a greater understanding of the environment, creating a network to connect like-minded people and providing opportunities to experience Guyana’s rich natural environment.