Muscat – The sultanate recycles over 1,014,854 tonnes of waste a year, according to Dr Mohammad Majid al Kasbi, Director of Department of Chemical Materials at Environment Authority (EA).
Speaking to Muscat Daily, he informed that EA is currently implementing a national plan under the umbrella of Oman’s environment strategy. The primary focus of this initiative is to gauge the volume and nature of hazardous waste generated, comprehend its implication on public health and the environment, and manage its international movement in accordance to the Basel Convention.
“Our recycling goals align with broader aspirations: bolstering the economy, conserving energy, cutting down on carbon emissions and ensuring the well-being of our natural habitats,” Kasbi emphasised.
From a commercial standpoint, the increase in local recycling firms has been notable. In 2023, 64 companies are actively engaged in recycling various types of waste, including cooking oils, car tyres and engines. This number has more than doubled from 30 firms in 2020. Besides recycling, Oman exports approximately 148,528 tonnes of waste annually.
Highlighting EA’s proactive measures, Kasbi said, “It’s the practices that truly reshape our environmental narrative. For instance, individuals are mandated to dispose of chemical waste at their own expense, strictly adhering to current regulations.”
Kasbi noted that nurturing an eco-conscious society is pivotal. “A community aware of its environmental responsibilities and embracing efficient waste management can drastically reduce redundant waste in day-to-day life.”
Moreover, there’s an unwavering stance on the use of unapproved chemicals. EA has in place stringent penalties, including fines of up to RO5,000 and jail sentence of up to three years for violations. Chemical substances, be it for import, export, storage or handling, are mandated to be packaged as per the sultanate’s approved standards.