“We Have Only One Earth. Make It Plastic Free.”

Dortmund, July 14: Speakers and experts from Asian and African Diaspora and European development organizations made one and united call to the world citizens of all levels, “We have only one world. Wherever in the world you use and throw plastic particles to the soil, water or air, it will equally harm the living beings across the world in the long run. So let us join hands together and take integrated initiatives for the sake of our next generation for their better health, better environment and a green planet.”

This was the united appeal from the speakers, experts and participants of the Dortmund workshop on ‘jute instead of plastic’ held in the local City Council conference room on Saturday, 14 July. They urged the western countries not to transport their plastic and other wastages to the global southern countries, as the waste particles would spread in the long run to the whole water body equally and demanded ban on all plastic products and introduce and offer alternatives to plastic products. Speakers also underscored the need for coordinated and integrated efforts and initiatives in both Asian and African countries. Delegates from African Diaspora organizations appreciated the serious engagement on this important issue by BASUG and expressed their interest to implement joint projects against plastic in their home countries.

In order to create awareness among the consumers, policy makers and entrepreneurs about the use of jute products instead of plastic and also to promote jute products in the German market, the day-long workshop was organized by the Europe-based Diaspora organisation BASUG with the financial support from Foundation Environment and Development SUE NRW. Cameroonian Association of Engineers and Informatics VKII and Community at Heart in Dortmund COHEDO were the partner organizations of the event. German-based online media outlet, Our Voice was the media partner of the event.

The research report on the trend and orientation of the people living in NRW about jute and plastic was presented by Urban and Regional Planner and former Scientific Officer of the Applied University of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Md Khurshid Hassan. Chaired by BASUG Chairman, Bikash Chowdhury Barua the opening session was addressed by Bangladeshi-Dutch Jazz Singer Rehana Begum, Bangladeshi-German entrepreneur and President of the House of Integration Juboraj Talukder, COHEDO President Kevin Ndeme-Nguba Matuke and VKII President Armel Djine. Consultant on Education for Sustainable Development, Vamos e.V. Münster Laura Hebling presented paper on „Planet Plastic – Earth Oil. Power. Waste.“ and  Co-founder, AltEco-Manager (Research and Development) of Scubet Deutschland and Post Doctoral Researcher in the University of Bonn Dr. M. A. K. Azad delivered the presentation on ‘Alternative to plastic and eco-friendly packaging material: Comparative analysis between jute and seaweed’. The panel discussion was addressed by Director Overseas of Jutetex Bangladesh M K Ibrahim, Climate Policy Expert Dr Maruf Mallick, Chief Editor of VNewsBD and Chairman of Bangladesh Research and Publication Association A S M Shamsul Arefin, Consultant of Team BD GmbH A K M Golam Mostofa Shihab and Vice President of House of Integration Nurul Islam. Jutetex Bangladesh and Vamos e.V. exhibited their jute products and no-plastic posters in the sideline of the event.