As Mon State looks to capitalize on the global rubber trade and expand its export-quality products, the state’s chief minister has pledged to tighten oversight and is calling on factories to submit their environmental management plans by the end of the month.
According to Mon State’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the state has 31 rubber factories, including rubber grinding factories, rubber plywood factories and rubber sheet factories.
The chief minister told factory owners at an October 9 meeting that he wants the paperwork on all of them.
“Reports have been made against rubber factories. The proposal [to relocate the rubber factories from residential areas] was approved by the parliament so the government has to implement it. The important thing is the EMP [the Environmental Management Plans],” said U Min Kyi Win, Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
Some factories have already submitted environmental management plans, which were lacking in some areas, like construction of waste tanks, waste management and storage of raw materials, U Min Kyin Win said.
Mon State Chief Minister U Aye Zan told the Mon State Hluttaw last month that his government will take action against rubber factories that fail to follow environmental rules and regulations. He threatened to close the most egregious offenders.
Mon State produces about half of Myanmar’s total rubber output, The Irrawaddy reported in August.
Currently, rubber factories are being developed in Kyaikmaraw and Paung townships, with facilities planned for Thaton, Mudon, Thanbyuzayat, and Ye townships.
Mon State has around 500,000 acres of rubber plantations, of which 3000,000 acres are producing rubber.