Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), and Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA), jointly organized a national seminar on ‘Innovation for Plastic Circularity’ recently in the presence of distinguished guests at the Radisson Blu Water Garden in Dhaka.
Dr. Colin Kerr, Head of Packaging Excellence and Technology, Unilever illustrated the innovations that Unilever has adopted in packaging globally to ensure environmentally friendly packaging as the keynote presenter.
The seminar also featured two panel discussions: the first, titled ‘Importance of Innovative Design for Plastic Circularity,’ moderated by Dr. Zaki Uz Zaman, Country Representative of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the following panelists; Ruhul Quddus Khan, Supply Chain Director, UBL; Amir Daud, COO, Bengal Group; Anisur Rahman, Director, Premiaflex Plastics; M Hossain Iraz, Director, Operations, Akij Bashir Group; and R N Paul, Managing Director, Pran-RFL Group.
The second, titled ‘Importance of Innovation in Collection and Recycling for Plastic Circularity,’ was moderated by Ms. Shamima Akhter, Director–Corporate Affairs, Partnerships, and Communications at UBL, with panelists including Dr. Ijaz Hossain, Ex-Professor and Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Matt Demorais, Head of Corporate Affairs and Issues, Unilever; Sheikh Mohammad Tauhidul Islam, Chief Executive Officer, Chattogram City Corporation, KM Iqbal Hossain, Vice President, BPGMEA, and Mohammad Kamrul Hasan, Executive Director, TEL Plastics, RFL Group.
Mr. Muhammad Abdul Mannan, MP, Minister, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, was present at the seminar as the Chief Guest.
Also present in the seminar as Special Guests were Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Chairman, Parliamentary, Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change; Dr. Fahmida Khanom, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; and Mr. Md. Amin Helaly, Vice President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
An exhibition titled ‘Innovative Material and Packaging’, showcased the innovation in producing and recycling plastic products and packaging from local organizations and UBL, was inaugurated by the Chief Guest and the Special Guests during the seminar.
Muhammad Abdul Mannan, MP, Minister, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said, “The exhibition titled ‘Innovative Materials and Packaging’ gave us the opportunity to see innovations in plastic packaging closely.
He said, It is not possible to ensure a good life for the people of Bangladesh, without ensuring development by addressing issues regarding not only plastic pollution, but all sorts of pollution. It is important to ensure that businesses can operate in a peaceful and stable environment. We are committed to supporting industry for a circular economy.”
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Chairman, Parliamentary, Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, said, “Our previous model of using natural resources was linear. A resource was taken from the environment, used and finally thrown back into the environment. However, as the awareness on the importance of proper waste management has increased, there is a need for the circular model. Earlier, we were an export-oriented nation. But by the day, we are becoming a consumer nation. As a result, when we become a trillion-dollar economy 12 to 13 years from now, the level of environmental pollution, especially plastic pollution, will increase manifold.”
Zaved Akhtar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Unilever Bangladesh, said, “We all have a responsibility towards the planet. As part of Unilever’s global push for innovation in plastic packaging and a waste-free planet, Unilever Bangladesh is actively adopting innovations in how our products are packaged”
Amin Helaly, Vice-president, FBCCI, said, “We need to adopt a 10-year plan regarding a circular economy. Moreover, future generations should be educated about plastic waste management. If the future Bangladesh wants a sustainable economy, the education system should be changed. We need a database to understand the real situation of plastic waste.”
Shamim Ahmed, President, BPGMEA, said, “We don’t want our environment to be degraded by plastic or our future generations to be harmed by plastic. Therefore, emphasis on infrastructural investment and strategic solutions is very important. I am especially grateful to Unilever Bangladesh for their support that is helping all of us achieve a circular economy.”