Monday, June 07, 2010

BEIRUT: Environment Minister Mohammad Rahhal distributed about 50,000 eco-friendly shopping bags on Saturday, as part of the ministry’s new environmental campaign.

For the occasion of National Environment Week and World Environment Day, the ministry launched a campaign to encourage the use of eco-friendly shopping bags instead of nylon and plastic bags.

The campaign was launched with the cooperation of the Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) and with the UN Information Center (UNIC).

Rahhal, the head of the Parliamentary Environment Committee MP Marwan Hamadeh and AFDC officials and volunteers all headed to TSC supermarkets, the Beirut Souks and Spinneys supermarkets to distribute about 50,000 shopping bags made of eco-friendly fabric.

Rahhal stressed the importance of using such bags because plastic bags, which are widely used in Lebanon, needed about 500 years to decompose and harmed the fauna and the flaura.

“It is no longer acceptable for governments not to consider environmental issues as a priority because they determine the fate of the earth and of the people,” Rahhal said.

Hamadeh compared the fight to preserve the environment to a war. “The main war Lebanon and the Lebanese are fighting is a war to preserve the environment. Our most important army is civil society and the Lebanese people,” he said.

As for the head of the UNIC, Bahaa al-Koussi, he said the main aim of the campaign was to limit the use of plastic and nylon bags because both were considered major polluters.