The dark side of energy-saving bulbs

The dark side of energy-saving bulbs

The Government of Bangladesh, the Government of Switzerland and UNIDO organized a workshop in Dhaka to discuss the guidelines on the environmentally sound management of mercury containing lighting sources. These guidelines will assist Bangladesh in the ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Last year around 26 million Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) were sold in Bangladesh. These bulbs save energy but collectively release around 150 kg mercury into the environment, which is a highly toxic substance.

Switzerland supported through UNIDO the Government of Bangladesh (Department of Environment - DOE) to develop guidelines for the environmental sound management of these hazardous lighting sources.

On 16 July 2019, these guidelines were discussed with all relevant stakeholders (Government, private sector and civil society) at a workshop in Dhaka.

All stakeholders agreed that they provide useful and practical guidance in order to protect the people and the environment of Bangladesh from the adverse impacts of mercury. In order to do so, full commitment of the private sector and relevant governmental institutions is required to realize the guidelines as soon as possible.

These guidelines will assist Bangladesh to ratify and implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This Multilateral Environmental Agreement aims at phasing out mercury from the global market.

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