Cambodia, along with 12 other nations, has discussed means of utilising a circular economy approach to improve solid waste management and improve the protection of the environment.

The discussion was held during a workshop on “Strengthening Solid Waste Management Practices and Transitioning to a Circular Economy” which ran from September 5 to 8 in Tokyo, Japan, according to a press release by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Chao Sopheak Phibal, deputy director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Wastewater Treatment Systems, represented the Kingdom during the important discussion. Specialists from all 13 nations – including Laos, Thailand, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Japan – took part.

According to the ministry, the discussion aimed to increase knowledge related to the concept of a circular economy, and how it could be adapted to the context of solid waste management projects. The participants also sought to explore ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, through the implementation of the 4Rs principle (Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Recovering).

The 13 nations shared their experiences, discussing both successful practices and failures. In-depth conversations were held on the roles and functions of local authorities, along with cooperation with the public and the private sector.

A circular economy approach would seek to transform solid waste into useful materials, meaning that along with economic benefits, it reduces the amount of waste. If successful, this would make a significant contribution to the Kingdom’s economic development, by ensuring that raw materials are reusable.