Oman and the European Union start virtual workshops on ending plastic pollution

    19 Sep 2021

    Oman considers littering on the beaches as a severe matter as this is one of the significant causes of damage to the marine environment.

    After a brief realization period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are back with a bang in polluting the environment, the air and the sea and making life miserable to other creatures.

    Hundreds of kilos of waste comprising abandoned fishing gear, items such as nets, ropes, hooks, weighing machines, tyres, foam sheets and most interestingly, cigarette butts have begun to unearth at the otherwise pristine, clear beaches.

    From one of the cleanup campaigns around the Al Hail area that leads to the beach, volunteers collected 1,078 cigarette butts in less than 45 minutes, Oman Observer states. Added to it, this area was totally littered by the very prominent skewers, most likely due to the food trucks around the area, according to the volunteers of the NGO called ‘Save Our Beaches.’

    A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere reached a record 419 parts per million.

    “This alarming new milestone has alerted us to a reality of living in a world with an atmosphere not seen in four million years,” the report said.

    Here comes the need for ‘climate education’ where children are imparted with knowledge of the necessity to protect our environment and preserve valuable natural resources.

    With an emphasis on equity and inclusion at every level, climate education is expected to foster a new generation ready to tackle the existential climate crisis that human beings face in modern times. Experts opine that combined with urgent policy shifts, climate, and environmental literacy will create jobs, build a green consumer market and allow citizens to engage with their governments in a meaningful way to solve climate change.

    Highlighting the harms of plastic dumping on the beaches, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has partnered with European Union to launch a webinar series on ending plastic pollution.

    Plastic is one of the fastest-growing pollutants in Oman and measures have already been initiated to address this issue, such as a ban on single-use plastic bags, which came into force on January 1, 2021. The webinar series aim to increase public awareness about the issue and help to promote change by encouraging people to avoid plastic waste in their lives.

    In what is touted as a significant step forward, the ESO is launching a series of virtual workshops in partnership with the European Union Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman and the European Environment Bureau on ending plastic pollution in Oman.

    “We aim to draw youth attention to the issues surrounding litter, single-use plastics, and recycling. As part of a line-up of events, we are happy to collaborate on this informative series to promote the adoption of environmentally conscious community behaviors,” said Suaad al Harthi, Executive Director at ESO.

    “Oman is blessed with abundant wildlife and a diverse natural environment, and it’s important that we act now to prevent it from degradation. Accepting alternatives to single-use plastics is a small step that we can take to safeguard our health and our environment for future generations to enjoy.”

    According to Ammujam Raveendran, a volunteer at Save Our Beaches, the infamous act of using this waste for landfills poses a more significant threat.

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