Thursday, 22 October 2015

Philippines Journal - GAIA Regional Meeting on Plastic Strategy Day #2

On second day, we had no important agenda. People preparing their presentation for fourth day (which means today!). But, side event was short movie screening. China and Bangladesh participant showed us about plastic situation in their country. First movie was "Plastic China", but unfortunately the movie is on progress for re-editing, because many sectors feel disturbed by the content of the movie (from the government and other countries). 

So, in China, most of plastic wastes were coming from OTHER country. Mostly from Europe and America.
Many people lived there, and of course their life suffered. The very sad picture was many kids playing with USED medical stuffs!!!!! They played with syringe, gloves, and many other not sterile medical stuffs. 

Other movie is about plastic ban in Bangladesh. You can watch movie here (it's in Japanese, hahaha, no subtitle). But I will repost the explanation from the document they shared: 

Transcription and Translation of Documentary (23.50 Minutes, Japanese Language, Documentary by NHK)

The capital city Dhaka flooded during the raining season, however in Bangladesh effecting by flood every year. Surprise, the causes of a flood in Dhaka is plastic bag which mostly used for shopping! 

The plastic bag generally used onetime and thrown away. We consume plastic bag 2 trillion sheets per year and this amount of material oil is same volume of Lake Barrel.

The plastic bag continues soiling the inside of the world. The plastic bag does not return to earth automatically easily. The life of animals is also taken away.

Everyone uses the plastic bag in a daily life. Bangladesh has started the challenge of reducing this bag just now in every country in the world now has started. It is located in delta region at the mouth of large rivers of the world, Himalaya is the origin of the Ganges in which overflow is the main cause of half of the country, however flood stream brings fertile soil from the upstream, as a result huge crop grow in next session. The disaster now becomes part of life. People cherished the blessing of water and live with water. Dhaka, the capital city of the developing country lives more than 20 million people, are jamming and the population is increasing as the highest rate in the world. During June and July is the rainy season in Dhaka when the city scenes completely change with the water that lapse into confusion every year. Cause of this flood is not upstream, the plastic bag. The plastic bag widely used over the country. The amount of consume increased rapidly in several years, and 20 years after, about 30 billion plastic bags will come to be used in one year.

Garbage and plastic are brought together in a dump in the Dhaka city, since plastic bags hugely used and scattering over the city. The plastic bag is flown by the wind and poured by water gathers for a drain. However plastic poured the waterway. As a result flow of water is lost and plastic product is deposited rapidly. The condition becomes worse by the rain. The drainage system filled and stops normal flow function during overflows that sewers a like as the stretch, and returns to it. 

The drain and waterway in all directions indispensable point of the people lives. Now happen flood of plastic over the city, water cannot go out as the garbage deposited in the passages. The garbage cleaning generally is doing near the mouth of the river in a waterway. Most of garbage is the plastic products in which natural decomposition does not carried out. It is not only the problem for the drainage system, but also for the disposing of garbage, children gather and collect plastic bags. In order to sell as recycle materials, it burns and makes the plastic tip. However discharge of poisonous gas is pointed out from the plastic bag burned in a drum. On the land buried with garbage, the dwellings are built one after another. The foundation is unstable and dangerous situation because of a plastic bag.

The environment of Bangladesh has continued being destroyed. The flood of Dhaka has continued increasing with proportional to the amount of the consuming plastic bag. There is a person who stood up to save Dhaka from a flood. Hossain Shahriar who is the representative of NGO, which continues movement of cutting down plastic bag from Bangladesh. "I saw many children and old persons who are troubled by the flood in the city. I thought that now is the time, when I stand up to fight against this problem. I felt; it would be too late if I cannot make action immediately.”

In 1988 Hossain Shahriar was a newspaper reporter, he witnessed that a plastic bag flew into a sewer. He ascertained that the causes of a flood are plastic bags. But he has no place to appeals this opinion and believers. In 1990 Hossain Shahriar established Environment NGO and started movement, which banishes the plastic bag from Bangladesh. He continued appealing against the environmental problem which the bag causes through various activities, such as a lecture meeting and a street demonstration.

Gradually many people agreed with Hossain Shahriar and his petition came to be known widely. But there was a person who didn’t agree him. But strong rebounding took place from the producer of a plastic bag. The threatening letter was sent, and at the going-out place; he was attacked and was exposed even to the danger of a life. "Although I was anxious also about my family, only considering that I protect a country even if I will die". The telephone bell also continues ringing in house and the family was fallen to fear. Hossain Shahriar’s wife, Dr. Gulfam is the best supporter of him. He said, “I was also surprised when there was a first threat, but I think my
husband is not wrong at all. My husband is led by God and is continuing the present work. Without God’s will, no matter what collision may occur, my husband never dies because he is protected by God.”

Hossain Shahriar came to work on the government and met with high authority and the minister of the environment. "It was the mistake that we introduced the plastic bag to our country. In order to protect a country, I thought that this problem had to tackle with it in earnest as a minister.”

Two persons' belief of protecting a country was hard. After for ten years the examination they reached at last making law against the plastic bag usages. 

By the ministry of Environment's proposal, in January, 2002 the bill of forbidding use and manufacture of the plastic bag was approved. It was the severe law with which an offender is burdened with heavy punishment. 

In Bangladesh, use and manufacture of the plastic bag were forbidden in March, 2002. It is the severe law with which a wicked offender is burdened with penal servitude or fine punishment. The minister of Environment goes to a market by himself, and check the situation.

Not only a plastic bag but also the thing or the large-sized shopping bag or for packing and wrapping bag are not allowed. If it is not checked severe now, the town in Dhaka continues sinking. They have to put prohibition of a plastic bag into practice, for the future of Bangladesh. "Although it seems that it is too much severe, but yet the plastic bag cannot be banished in Bangladesh. In order to protect a country from environmental pollution, it is necessary to put this law into practice."

Surely the plastic bag which has troubled Bangladesh began to disappear from the town. But appeared another problem. The plastic bag producer and worker as lose their job, now again rebounding with another motif! The reality, "Having considered the equipment’s and marketing which have made an investment until now, it is about 40 billion yen damage. Jobless people will amount to 100,000 people and 250,000 families will waver in a roadside. We are having forced severe reality for a governmental one-sided determination. "

It was a high responsibility for Hossain Shahriar who proposed prohibition of a plastic bag first to save jobless people. He must find the new shopping bag which replace instead of a plastic bag for the economy of this country. The bag was recommended which made from the jute which is the by project of environmental blessing in Bangladesh from ancient times. Once, the jute was briskly exported to overseas as main industry of a country. However, now the quantity of production has fallen off in 1/10 of the golden ages with the advent of petrochemicals.

They say jute is the golden fiber of a golden country. As a shopping bag which replaces a plastic bag, revival of the jute which is smokestack industries is further advanced for jobless people's employment promotion.

The announcement

In order to spread a jute bag, public announcement and selling activities are performed periodically in shopping quarter. It is the large project which risked national fate. (Bangla letter: don’t you feel trouble in bringing a bag? People are carrying goods with bag of jute, the golden fiber of Bangladesh).

"We have duty to consider the figure of the earth which it should inherit to the next generation. Please think once again before using a plastic bag. It has taken our future. “Not only in Bangladesh but also around the word particularly in major cities and towns plastic become a cause for flood.

The government of each country is moving to recycle the plastic, however into soiling. In South Africa, the thin plastic bag which is hard to recycle is forbidden completely from 2003. In Ireland, from 2002 the about 8 Tk. (15 yen) tax per plastic bag was collected from the consumer, and it succeeded in 90 percent of curtailment. In France, it apprehends into the plastic bag which continue increasing in number, and the burden charge for recycling is collected from a store from 1992. However, the amount of consumption does not become less at all, 
but about 17 billion plastic bags are used in one year now. One shocking poster appeared in France in 1996. A certain supermarket group sent out this poster. "Les sacs jetablesontun prix" "We must consider that the fact that 1 billion t or more per year of plastic bags in domestic has committed nature could not overlook as a supermarket which bears the end of responsibility. So once we bought the plastic bag, we made the system of the plastic bag which can be used eternally. "The supermarkets which develops a branch all over the country. It is clear, the plastic bag is not distributed in free from 1996. The plastic bag is sold about Tk.10 (20 yen) per sheet which made to be stronger than the conventional thing and last long for. Customer uses it repeating as a shopping bag.

"Although it is troublesome, we must consider about environment and try our best. I want to spread ecology by using this bag." The broken bag can be changed to new plastic bag with free eternally after the first burden charge.

French: "Le crer making something and money pay. But it is for recycle, I don’t say nothing". 

A thick plastic bag is the optimal also as materials of recycling. The plastic bag of Le crer which finished the duty is again born as a garbage bag currently installed in the city of Paris. 

Although no less than 1 billion plastic bags were used at Le crer every year until it took in this system, it succeeded in reduction, and now 95% of curtailment at about 50 million sheets. 

In Japan, consuming the plastic bag equivalent to the oil for 40 billion sheets per year, and the TOKYO DOME about 5000 times is also being continued now. 

"Maybe I will meet in trouble if there is no plastic bag when I buy a law product"
"I always use it as the bag of garbage. I never waste it."

In March 2002, the first measure regulations of plastic bag were approved by the Suginami-ku, Tokyo congress in Japan. The 5 yen tax per plastic bag is collected from a consumer.

“It is effectively used as a 5 yen bag. We cannot walk with a bag every time. There is much selfish opinion, when it compare to the world. I think that it should be considered by the major company or the supermarket, the convenience store, and such a plastic bag to charge etc. by them”

There is also the contrary of the local storekeeper's community which fears that shoppers decrease in number, and this plastic bag charge is not enforced yet. However, Suginami-ku is advancing various measures towards curtailment of a plastic bag. In the environmental event in October, 2003, the bag contest, “my bag making lesson”. was performed.

Whenever it refuses one plastic bag, there is also a point stamp and after they collect this point a certain number, they can use this as a shopping ticket. This is PR video which appeals against plastic bag curtailment. An IRENGER fights with a plastic bag monster. An understanding of children is deepened and it is made to demand my back bringing from a broad generation. The students of the university in Suginami-ku or a high school made this character in cooperation with administration. The measure against a plastic bag of Japan is just started. To not the adult familiar to mass consumption but to the next generation who bears the future. Expectation is entrusted to children.

Hossain Shahriar is entrusted the next generation of an environmental problem who bears the future of Bangladesh. He said, "From a generation to a generation, if we pierce our belief, the precious earth is surely protected." 

The plastic bag, which the products of modern civilization which has pursued facilities intently. There was fighting one life was risked to fight in the shadow of a success of Bangladesh which stops the flood of a plastic. And the citizen who gained the jute bag supported it. Every person's will that say no more plastic bag supported the success.

*Kelihatan mana yang bahasa Inggrisnya ala ala*

So, Shahriar went from Bangladesh to US for 7 years since being pursued by plastic manufacturer.
I think I had to make strategy and travel plan, IF someday someone pursue me. Paris, maybe? 

After movie screening, we had informal discussion. One of attracted my attention was about regulation on incinerator ban in Philippines. They ban incinertor since 1999. Sonia from Mother Earth Foundation told us even hospital used autoclave instead, to sterilised used-medical stuffs and responsible waste management.  Wow. Hear...heaaar....Bandung!

Nice discussion.

We had to leave Quezon City to transfer to Intramuros, where the second meeting (Funders meeting) will take place. Thank you Isis for hosting us and taking care of my meals! Hahahaha. 

Sorry ye udah bangunin jam 3 pagi buat bukain pintu. Hahaha. 
So here we are... at The Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros...

View from hotel roof top. 
But before, let's take a short walk first...

This is Jeepney, angkotnya orang Filipina. (Photo taken by Mr. David Sutasurya, my former boss)

No parking. Tow away zone. 


Casa Manila at night. 

Engga enak, huek, susah cari makanan halal disini. Dinner at Solana Street, budget meal (Price Php 50)

Jajan dulu ke 7-Eleven Intramuros. 

to be continued...

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