Thursday, May 31, 2007

ESO takes initiative ... and flunks

“Customers rarely say no to plastic bags and the staff behind the counters are often unaware of the environmental concerns of the use of bags even when someone just buys a bar of chocolate. Sometimes a customer in a supermarket gets up to 50 bags. Therefore, you can imagine how many plastic bags are used every day in the supermarket,” said Al Sabahi. (Oman Tribune)

This is the beginning of the article in the Oman Tribune for Wednesday, 30th May, 2007 on the efforts that the ESO is attempting at in educating the Omani population about the wastage overload issue in the country.

The Under-Secretary of the NGO has probably never been to an actual supermarket here in Oman to say what he has just said above. Because - and as experience has taught me quite well - there really isn't any other choice than having to take a plastic bag for your shopping in any supermarket chain; small or big. Fact of the matter is that you wouldn't have much other choice than to use them and as I know it, most people re-use these bags back at home. So to say that that customers that do their shopping all over the Sultanate rarely say no to plastic bags isn't because they don't want to but because they aren't really spoilt for choice.

As for those who use up 50 bags or more - well.. what can I say? Have a great party. Because that doesn't seem like an everyday issue. Nonetheless it isn't excuse; on that I would agree.

It doesn't take a genius to invent paper bags like the folks overseas use in their daily shopping instead of plastic. Cotton is not a particularly favorite brand, even though it is reusable for a short period of time until it finally wears out, it cannot hold big products that are needed for .. say.. a barbecue out on the beach on a winter's day. That's to say, for instance. It just doesn't work.

Educating the youth in several schools in Oman is a fairly good tactic but isn't quite good enough. You may well be preparing the future generation for the epidamic but then again what resources would you be putting in their palms?

The article also mentions that there are a number of recycling plants that the Sultanate of Oman deals with of which one is in Rusayl and the others in the UAE and the last in India. Why they hadn't thought this up a long time back is beyond me. It's a big investment but with a longterm profit of keeping our environment the safe haven it used to be.

Why is it that we Omanis have to wait until the second that the thing we dread the most to happen, happens, and act thereupon?




- ESO focuses on garbage recycling


آمنة said...

there are cotton bags with ESO logo i think for 1 rial, which is expensive when there is another alternative, plastic bags for free

and, sorry to say, i feel weird to take the cotton bag :s

Sleepless In Muscat said...

to me, it's not a matter of looks or whatever any reason may be. But the fact is that these cotton bags have a lesser capacity of what other free plastic bags may have - while on the other hand they should introduce paper bags..

Solafa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Solafa said...


I always wonder why Oman takes a slow action when they are meant to speed up with things in every thing.

Especially in the Environment Issues, they were one of the first countries to sign for ISO 14000/14001:2004 to action Environmental Issues and try to tackle them with reasonable management system. But yet we are the slowest ever nation to get things done on time.

It annoys me but at the same time i am proud that Oman was in the first 10 countries who signed for this International agreement.

Sleepless In Muscat said...


I am proud, too. But I would be more proud if this signing up was taken into initiative action