News ID: 238353
Published: 0616 GMT February 03, 2019

Bangladeshi experts, officials call for environment-friendly management of e-waste

Bangladeshi experts, officials call for environment-friendly management of e-waste

The total waste generated by obsolete or broken down electronic devices specially mobile phone, battery and charger in Bangladesh was estimated to be 400,000 tons for the year 2018, which is expected to exceed 4.62 million tons by 2035.

The figures were disclosed at a discussion meeting styled "E-waste management: A huge challenge for Bangladesh" in the capital Dhaka, Xinhua wrote.

Telecom Reporters Network of Bangladesh (TRNB) organized the a discussion with its President Zahidul Islam Sajal in the chair.

Experts said the increased use of electronic devices is resulting in growing amount of e-waste generation in the country posing threat to the public health.

Every year approximately 35 million mobile phones, 18 million mobile batteries, 12 million mobile chargers, 1 million computer and laptop and 4 million consumer electronic items are converted into e-waste in the country, General Secretary of TRNB Samir Kumar Dey said.

In his paper presentation, he also said roughly 50 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) are produced globally each year.

Against this backdrop, experts and officials in the event called for environment-friendly e-waste management, creating database to ensure better recycling and resource recovery.

Md Abul Kalam Azad, chairman of private Azizu Recycling and E-waste Ltd, said they cannot run their e-waste recycling plant at its full capacity because of shortage of e-waste.

He said there should have a proper e-waste collection and supply channel to prevent indiscriminate dumping.

Rased Mehedi, former TRNB president, said electronic goods should have an expiry date like food items.

He added that the expiry dates must be put on the electronic goods so that the consumers know when they need to dump.

Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, managing director and chief executive officer of Bangladesh's second largest cell phone operator Robi, called for formalizing the e-waste sector in the country.

According to the official, about three percent of the total e-waste generated in Bangladesh is properly collected by the industry insiders.

Director General of Bangladesh's Department of Enviornment Sultan Ahmed said they have already formulated a draft regulation for e-waste management in line with the existing Environment Conservation Act of the country.

Telecom and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar said they are contemplating to develop e-waste management into a business proposition.

He further said e-waste industry with facilities like tax holidays and cash incentives can also help the country fetch foreign currency apart from protecting the environment.

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