UN launches ‘Closing the Loop’ project to reduce pollution in ASEAN cities

UN launches ‘Closing the Loop’ project to reduce pollution in ASEAN cities
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BANGKOK:  To reduce the plastic waste pollution in the rivers and ocean, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in partnership with Government of Japan has launched a new project called ‘Closing the Loop’.

‘Closing the loop’ a project, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of cities in South East Asia will be implemented in four ASEAN cities on a pilot basis – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Surabhaya, Indonesia; Da Nang, Vietnam; and Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.

The project will support the government by addressing the plastic waste pollution and leakages into the marine environment. To implement this project, innovative technologies will be used such as remote sensing, use of satellite and crowd sourced data application to monitor and detect the pathways and sources of plastic waste entering rivers from urban catchment areas.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP said, “Cities are on the front line in addressing plastic waste in ASEAN, which is the world’s most polluting region when it comes to ocean plastics. The proliferation of plastic pollution in our oceans is a serious climate change hazard, and thanks to the strong support of the Government of Japan, this innovative new project comes at a timely moment to accelerate action on the issue.”

As per the data around 60 per cent of plastic waste leakage into the environment comes from cities in South East Asia. 75 per cent of land-based marine plastic pollution in South East Asia comes from uncollected waste and 25 per cent originates from the municipal waste management system.

To curb this pollution, Closing the Loop project will produce waste maps and simulations to help training officials and stakeholders in ASEAN cities to reduce the plastic waste by use of smart technologies to monitor, report and manage the plastic pollution. Urban policy makers will also be provided with the right tool to develop better policies and strategies, which apply a circular economy approach in managing their plastic waste streams.

The ‘Closing the Loop’ project supports local implementation of the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and the G20 Osaka Blue Vision to tackle the proliferation of plastic litter.

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