When plastic made of fossil fuel has appeared as a strong contributor to global warming, per capita plastic consumption in the country is rising alarmingly and will increase to 30-35 kg by 2030 against 7-8 kg at present.
To mitigate the growing concern for global warming, plastic industry should be provided with required financing so that the sector can go for extensive recycling of used plastic products, experts opined.
They said the Bangladesh Bank should allow Green Transformation Fund (GTF) for the plastic sector entrepreneurs who are greening the plastic production process.
Plastic product manufacturers need access to fund from the refinancing scheme under green transformation fund of the central bank, like entrepreneurs who are producing 52 green products, at low interest rate for importing machineries, they added.
They were speaking at a consultation dialogue with plastic sector stakeholders organised by BUILD at BUILD Conference Room in Dhaka recently.
At the dialogue, stakeholders and experts discussed about their opinions and suggestions on the rationale of inclusion of the plastic sector to qualify for availing GTF.
CEO BUILD Ferdaus Ara Begum gave a presentation highlighting the harmful impact of plastic on environment and how to minimize the waste through enforcing stricter law and focusing citywide education and awareness. She emphasised efficient technology and policy support needed for recycling and packaging.
Representatives of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA), Bangladesh Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others, participated at the dialogue.
Referring fund benefits available for entrepreneurs on 52 green products under refinancing scheme, Ferdaus Ara said urged the authority for considering GTF as a foreign currency loan at a lower interest rate for import of machineries for plastic sector.
Shamim Ahmed, former president, BPGMEA mentioned that plastic sector is one of the most promising industry but is deprived of proper attention. He emphasised on post-used management issues and extensive use of plastic in packaging sector.
He informed that PET recycling is a big export sector. Among the alternatives, RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) for energy could be encouraged, he said urging all to put emphasis on utilization of GTF for plastic waste energy recovery plant.
Yusuf Ashraf, former president, BPGMEA and director FBCCI emphasised that local government has to play a big role to alert the people about the pollution of plastic at the time of consumption. Chemical mix is important for those who produce thermoplastic molding from oil.
K.M. Iqbal Hossian, vice-president, BPGMEA endorsing the presence of SMEs in the plastic sector appreciated the cluster based approach referring their proposal on Lalbug Cluster, Islambug and Karrangir Char Cluster famous for plastic producers. He put thrust on a packaging policy and also for a plastic post-use policy of plastic. He also mentioned that for procuring high quality machine for energy and resource efficiency, GTF can be helpful for them.
IFC representative informed that a plastic compliance guideline will be launched soon, while technology support centres and a roadmap for plastic sector are underway.
Rizwanul Karim, deputy director, Sustainable Finance Department, representative of Bangladesh Bank informed that they are positive about inclusion of plastic in the GTF but the rational for inclusion needs to be convincing. He suggested BPGMEA to send a proposal to Bangladesh Bank about availing of the fund.