Yang Berhormat, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi Bin Haji Gafar, Minister of Development, (right) with Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh, a member of the legislative council during the official launch of “Thursday” to be added as No Plastic Day in Brunei Darussalam
The Ministry of Development through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (DEPR) held a launching ceremony yesterday to mark the addition of Thursday towards No Plastic Bag Everyday in conjunction with Earth Day 2018, which carries the theme “End Plastic Pollution”.
Present as the guest of honour was the Minister of Development, Yang Berhormat, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi Bin Haji Gafar, who officiated the event and presented posters to representatives from participating stores of the No Plastic Bag Weekend initiative. The event also saw the launch of DEPR’s instagram page, “@jastre.bn”.
The Acting Director of DEPR, Martinah Haji Tamit in her opening remarks touched upon the suitability of this year’s Earth Day theme with the government’s efforts towards the goal of No Plastic Bag Everyday in tackling the issue of plastic litter. She also highlighted the importance of the media especially social media in spreading information and the government’s targets which has prompted DEPR to launch their own instagram account, “@jastre.bn”
The Minister of Development in his speech also emphasised the importance of an integrated effort towards combating plastic pollution “Success in realizing the desire to make Brunei Darussalam free from plastic pollution is entirely dependent on the actions of all parties, especially the supermarkets and business establishments, retail shop owners and people who are plastic bags. If there is no consciousness among us all about the pollution from plastic bags, all the plans that the Government has planned will not be a complete success”.
Yang Berhormat Dato Suhaimi also mentioned, “Therefore, we as human beings must repent, stop damaging the environment as it goes against our natural instincts and violates God’s trust that expects man to do good.”
Promotional posters being handed out
Promotional posters being handed out
Invited guests from the government agencies
Also in attendance was Acting Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance), Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Haji Amer Hishamuddin Bin POKAPDSS Haji Zakaria, Director General at the Public Works Department, member of the legislative council, Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh and Awang Misle bin Abdul Karim, Brunei Muara District Officer.
After the ceremony, a delegation from the Ministry led by Dr Nor Imtihan visited Utama Grand Department Store, Sin Kew Hin Department Store and Jaya Centrepoint Hypermart Sdn Bhd in Gadong to hand out reusable bags to shoppers.
After the addition of Thursday, the remaining days will be added in phases with Wednesday tentatively to be included in July 2018, Tuesday in October 2018 and Monday to be added in December 2018 towards realizing the Government’s objective of No Plastic Bag Everyday by 2019. The initiative will initially involve stores and businesses that are currently listed under the No Plastic Bag Weekend initiative but will be extended to other consumers of plastic bags such as retails shops (kedai-kedai runcit), restaurants and stalls (gerai-gerai).
The No Plastic Bag Weekend initiative was initially launched on 26th March 2011 to include Saturday and Sunday, with Friday being added on 17th February 2012. The objective of the initiative is to promote the concept of 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in order to minimize the volume of waste sent to the country’s landfill. To date, fifty stores and businesses have voluntarily registered to participate in the initiative.
The phasing out of single-use plastic bags is a global goal with over 40 countries already taking steps to reduce their usage; examples include Bangladesh which banned the product back in 2002 due to severe flooding from littered plastic bags, China banned thin plastic bags prior to the 2008 Olympic Games and Bali has signed several memorandums and declarations to take steps towards banning plastic bags.
This is the promotional poster to create awareness for Thursday
The recycle bag from JASTRe
Visiting Utama Grand and handing out recycle bag