Kuwait is participating with the countries of the world in their celebration of the anniversary of the World Environment Day under the slogan “Reducing plastic pollution”, with the aim of the global transition to a circular plastic economy and finding large-scale solutions to address plastic pollution.
World Environment Day, which is supervised by the United Nations Environment Program and celebrated annually on June 5 since 1973, is the largest global platform for public environmental awareness.
Ms. Sharifa Al-Shalfan, a member of the Municipal Council, stressed to KUNA on this occasion the importance of preserving the environment for the continuation of the life of societies, the health of humanity and the sustainability of natural resources for future generations.
Al-Shalfan said that there are many issues related to the environment, such as pollution of sea water, soil and air, stressing the municipal council’s keenness, by virtue of the tasks entrusted to it, to focus on these issues, especially those related to the issue of municipal solid waste.
She added that the environmental aspect and climatic conditions must be taken into account when urban planning and city planning and its impact on sustainability, for example, the necessity of green spaces in a sufficient proportion to the size of the population density and the diversity of means of transportation due to its importance in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as the necessity of responding to climatic and geographical conditions in architectural design. and building materials used, especially in Kuwait’s extremely hot climate and the activation of the green building code.
Al-Shalfan indicated that she had submitted three main proposals in this regard, the first of which was the proposal for the composting project, whereby examining the municipal solid waste in the country showed that 46 percent of this waste is food waste, which constitutes a great waste of this blessing.
She revealed that this proposal aims to improve the soil for cosmetic crops to sustain and preserve wealth and reduce organic waste in landfills, while developing flexible and easy-to-apply solutions in dealing with municipal solid waste, especially since Kuwait is a desert country that lacks fertile soil by nature and our urgent need for greening.
Al-Shalfan referred to another proposal regarding the recycling of plastic bottles and their caps, given that plastic constitutes 20% of municipal solid waste in Kuwait, and is considered a material that takes a long time to decompose, as it may take more than 400 years.
She indicated that this proposal would contribute to reducing plastic waste in landfills, cleaning public places in the country, and cleaning the marine environment, in addition to dealing with solid municipal waste in implementation of the Environmental Protection Law and strengthening the role of the private sector in development in accordance with the vision of the State of Kuwait in this regard.
Al-Shalfan said that there is a third proposal about preparing a regulation for the dismantling of buildings based on a field study of the types of building materials extracted and the local market, especially since the owners of buildings in Kuwait generally resort to demolishing these buildings after they reach a certain age or because of the need to develop them or change their architectural design despite This results in pollution of the environment.
She added that the aim of this proposal is to move towards the process of dismantling buildings due to its great benefits, as it contributes to enhancing the concept of sustainability by reducing the amount of solid construction waste and limiting the use of land for waste dumps. It also leads to promoting the concept and culture of reuse.
For her part, Acting Director General of the Environment Public Authority, M. Samira Al-Kandari, told KUNA that one of the most important priorities for environmental work in the State of Kuwait is what is in line with the state’s development plan, Vision 2035, the Fourth Structural Plan 2040, and the government’s work program (2022-2026), which includes In the item of infrastructure and energy (environmental protection).
She added that these priorities are represented in improving air quality, switching to the use of less polluting fuels, strengthening control over emissions from mobile sources, implementing the national strategy for waste management in the State of Kuwait 2040, in addition to implementing the strategy of transitioning to a circular carbon economy to reach carbon neutrality 2050.
Al-Kandari explained that the plan to develop the work of the Environment Public Authority is based on strengthening environmental monitoring of air quality by strengthening the capacity of the authority’s national network to monitor outdoor air quality through the installation of fixed stations to monitor air quality.
And she indicated that the plan also aims to expand the national network to monitor air quality in coordination with oil sector companies, install fixed stations to monitor air quality, and find radical solutions to the problem of air pollution in the southern region through the implementation of environmental projects.
She stated that this comes in coordination with the oil sector and the Public Authority for Industry to strengthen the monitoring system and means of control, and to complete a project to prepare a strategy for managing air quality and supporting decision-makers in the country, which was signed with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research in coordination with the American Harvard University.
She said that one of the goals of the plan is also to improve waste management in the country and adhere to international agreements ratified by the State of Kuwait, the most important of which is the Framework Convention on Climate Change, as the authority is currently preparing a 2050 carbon reduction strategy in coordination with the United Nations Environment Program.
She stressed the importance of strengthening continuous monitoring of the marine environment, especially in Kuwait Bay, and activating the application of the provisions and articles of the Environmental Protection Law by strengthening the role of environmental inspection and editing environmental violations, in a way that works to reduce encroachments on the land and marine environment in the country.
She also stressed the need to spread environmental awareness and market government environmental projects that would reduce abuses on the environment with the need to provide an integrated system for environmental data management in the country and electronic linkage of environmental indicators with the authorities, which supports decision-making while strengthening the position of the State of Kuwait in the global environmental performance measurement index and preparing Periodic reports of the state of the environment.
On World Environment Day, Al-Kandari said that this day was launched under the slogan “Reducing plastic pollution”, and comes within the national action plan for sustainable consumption and production prepared by the Environment Public Authority with the United Nations Environment Program.
She said that the Authority, within the framework of that plan, will focus on the circular economy model to transform consumption and production patterns into the most sustainable ones.
She indicated that the authority launched, in this regard, the media campaign for behavioral change to reduce single-use plastic waste in the country to bring about real behavioral change and increase awareness activities about sustainable consumption and production in the field of plastic, in coordination with government agencies and the private sector.
She also pointed out that the campaign was launched at the same time on the accounts of the United Nations Environment Office of West Asia and the Kuwaiti Environment Public Authority through social networking sites from three to six months, and the introduction of awareness and recycling programs in schools and universities, and events and workshops were prepared in shopping centers and commercial complexes.