Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobani
From Cologne: To create awareness amongst consumers about the use of jute products instead of plastic and to promote jute products in the German market, a day-long workshop organised by the Europe-based diaspora organisation, BASUG was held in Ehrenfeld Citizen Centre in Cologne. The workshop was part of the on-going project of BASUG on ‘Jute instead of Plastic’ in Germany.
Bangladesh Ambassador in Germany Imtiaz Ahmed inaugurated the workshop as chief guest. Member of NRW State Assembly Berivan Aymaz and Mayor of the Cologne City Dr. Ralf Heinen addressed the occasion as special guests, while BASUG Chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua presided over the opening session. Project Coordinator of BASUG Germany and JTV Correspondent Hossain Abdul Hai conducted the opening session.
Speakers stressed on the need of introducing jute products as an alternative to plastic to save soil, air, water and above all the environment and the mother earth. They called upon the people to avoid plastic and adopt not only jute, but also other alternatives like paper, clothes, steel and iron products instead of harmful plastic items.
Chief Guest Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmed said, ‘Environment is now very important issue not only for the human beings but also for all creatures including animals and plants in the whole world. Plastic is affecting the environment so much, that the initiative of promoting jute as an alternative is very timely effort.’ He added, ‘Moreover, Bangladeshi scientists have recently invented the bio-plastic products from jute and if introduced worldwide we will get rid of the curse of plastic to a large extent.’
The workshop was organised under the project “Jute instead of plastic” with the support from Foundation Environment and Development SUE NRW. German-based online media outlet, Our Voice was media partner of the event. The research report on the trend and orientation of the people living in NRW about jute and plastic was presented by former Scientific Officer of the Applied University of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Khurshid Hassan.
The panel discussion moderated by the General Secretary of BASUG Germany, Dr M M Islam, and was addressed by Prof Dr Enamul Hoque from Helmholtz Research Centre, Munich, Dr Syed Masum Ahmed Chowdhury, Commercial Counselor of Bangladesh Embassy in Germany and M K Ibrahim, Director, Overseas of Jutetex Bangladesh. Among others Jute Importer Riyadh Tanveer, Former Acting Head of Bengali Department of Deutsche Welle Abdus Sattar, Professor Dr Sirajul Islam, President of German Awami League A K M Bashirul Alam Chowdhury Sabu, Social and Climate Activist Snigdha Bulbul, President of Bangabandhu Foundation Germany Younus Ali Khan, Official of Bengali Department of DW Nurunnahar Sattar, Vice President of House of Integration Nurul Islam, singer Abdul Munim, Artist Maruf Ahmed, and Project Officer of ASG Munima Sultana took part in the discussion.
EddA Africa, Seraji Foundation, For the Kids Sake, Vamos teams and artist Mir Zabeda Yeasmin exhibited their jute products, no-plastic posters and paintings on the issue in the sideline of the event.