German event urged for a plastic free world

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor,Shottobani

London: A symposium was held in Mainz, Germany on “Jute instead of Plastic 2.0” on 6 November by the Europe-based diaspora organisation BASUG and Ecumenical Refugee Help Oberstadt e.V. (OEFO).

The workshop was inaugurated by the Bangladesh ambassador in Germany, Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan NDC as chief guest, while BASUG Chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua was in the chair. In his speech, Ambassador Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuyan underscored the characteristics of jute as biodegradable, environment friendly and alternative to plastic and said, the worldwide increase of jute products can encourage the jute farmers and producers in Bangladesh for more engagement, investment and innovation, which may alleviate poverty and empower the unprivileged farmer communities. On the other hand, the increase of the use of jute products can contribute a lot to remove the plastic products, which are damaging for our health, animals and the nature. Hence, such an initiative must continue without any interruption for the sake of mother earth, he added.

The Deputy Mayor of the Provincial Capital City of Mainz Volker Hans, Honorary Consul General of Bangladesh in NRW Engineer Hasnat Mia, Treasurer of CDU Mainz Karsten Lange, Vice President of BASUG Germany Younus Ali Khan and Provincial Facilitator on Migration and Development in Rheinland-Pfalz from OEFO Rabia Salim addressed the opening session. Journalist and Project Director of BASUG AHM Abdul Hai moderated the symposium and BASUG Internee Kawsarul Hoq presented the research report on the main theme of the seminar.

Mentioning the sustainability measures, including the achievement of SDGs taken in the city of Mainz, Deputy Mayor Volker Hans called upon all citizens to think globally and act locally. As plastic has a devastating impact not only in a city or a country, rather the whole world is equally affected with plastic pollution, each and everybody must act immediately to make the plastic-free environment with the devotion to environment-friendly alternative contents and products.

Prof. Dr. Mubarak Ahmad Khan, Scientific Adviser, Bangladesh Jute Mill’s Corporation, Ministry Jute and Textile, Bangladesh, Educational Expert from Vamos e.V. Mara Urich and the Co-founder of AltEco Dr. M A K Azad presented papers in the technical session. Among others, Senior Community leader freedom fighter Kazi Abdul Matin, Chief Advisor of Bangabandhu Foundation Mahabubul Hoque, SPD Leader Salim Rahman, former official of State Bank of India in Frankfurt Rokeya Rothe and German Climate Activist Jörg Rothe, Entrepreneur Kamal Bhuyan, Vice President of Bangabandhu Foundation Imran Bhuyan took part in the discussion.

Prof. Dr. Mubarak Ahmad Khan in his presentation highlighted the characteristics, advantages and recommendations on his innovation 100% biopolymer Sonali Bag, produced from jute. It has been named Sonali Bag by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to brand the country with the environment-friendly jute bag, which needs a boost for international marketing for the sake of the environment and nature to make the world a plastic-free one. He also warned the world population about the devastating impact of plastic pollution in the whole world and urged to change the behavior without any delay to remove plastic use from all walks of life.

“Using jute won’t be a magical solution, but it will be a very good approach to achieving a plastic-free morning,” said Bikash Chowdhury Barua, Chairman of BASUG Diaspora and Development. The devastating effects of plastic production and use are falling back on the future of human beings. That is why a global approach is essential for coping with this massive task.

Raising awareness and promoting awareness of the dangers posed by using plastic to people and the environment. The many dangers and effects that plastic pose for human health and for our planet have been known for many years. Alternative products, for example, made from jute, seaweed and biopolymers are options and approaches that already exist on the global market and are still being researched. The use of jute is also environmentally friendly and a very good alternative to the use of plastic. Seaweed is also a new alternative to plastic that does not use fresh water for production. Seaweed is edible, 100% biodegradable and can also be used as a natural fertilizer.

German-Bengali singer Abdul Munim performed at the end of the symposium. A large number of jute products and anti-plastic communication materials and publications were exhibited from BASUG, Seraji Foundation, Vamos e.V. and ÖFO e.V. during the seminar in the foyer. The event was organised with the support of Engagement Global and financial grant from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

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