Plastic Bag Free Day will be organized by the Mayor’s Office in cooperation with the Tekhnoj NGO business incubation center.
According to a study conducted by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mongolia produces 660 tons of plastic bag waste during the summer and 420 tons during the winter. The winter figure rises as Lunar New Year celebrations approach.
The National Security Council has conceded that the waste output of the nation has reached disastrous levels, with Ulaanbaatar producing one million tons of waste annually.
“It has become vital to educate people on phasing out the use of plastic bags in their everyday lives. Ulaanbaatar residents spend approximately two billion MNT annually on the purchase of plastic bags, all of which are imported and ultimately end up polluting our soil,” said the Director of Tekhnoj, G.Galaariidii.
Another important waste issue highlighted by the Mayor’s Office and Tekhnoj NGO is the use of disposable plastic shoe covers that are widely used in kindergartens and hospitals. UB residents collectively spend an estimated 400 million MNT on plastic shoe covers each month, adding up to four billion MNT spent annually. The disposable covers are responsible for large volumes of waste and are a financial detriment, says Tekhnoj.
“Nationally, there are 447 open garbage dumps. Plastic bags are lightweight, yet they account for the majority of waste at the dumps. By phasing out plastic bag use, we have the opportunity to prevent large amounts of damage to the environment,” added G.Galaariidii.
Tekhnoj believes that reusable cotton bags are the optimal alternative to plastic bags. They have had a hand in initiating the domestic manufacturing of cotton bags with support from World Vision, Finnish Lutheran Overseas Mission, and the United Nations. The project will ultimately have 55 workers producing reusable bags and shoe covers to replace the use of disposable ones.