Hge polybag production continues despite ban in Bangladesh

Despite a government ban in place since 2002, huge manufacture of polybags has continued unabated in Bangladesh, endangering lives and the country’s environment.

According to a local environment research group, 78,000 tons of polybag waste was generated in one year of the coronavirus pandemic between April 2020 and March 2021, and illegal polybag manufacture has surged to half a million per day.

At a virtual seminar which marked the World Environment Day on Saturday, Environment and Social Development Organization Secretary-General Shahriar Hossain said their research found that total generated waste from used polythene bags in the capital city of Dhaka is about 6,000 tons, and in the entire country it is around 7,850 tons.

The seminar was attended by environment experts from civil society and government departments.

Experts speaking at the occasion emphasized the importance of enforcing the polythene bag ban law across the country as soon as possible, calling its use and production hazardous for the country’s ecology.

“The local and district administration and police will have to be authorized to enforce the ban instead of the environment department,” Hossain told Anadolu Agency.

He observed that there is a lack of political will to stop the usage of polybags, urging the government to take action.

According to the research, there were about 300 polybag factories in the country in 1999, and that number already increased from 700 to 1,000 in 2021, with plants located across rural areas.

He demanded urgent actions from all stakeholders concerned, including the government, as Bangladesh is a top environmentally polluted country, with Dhaka being the second-most polluted city in the world.

Keya Khan, joint secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, said at the seminar that the government is working to control illegal polybag manufacture and is conducting frequent action against it.

Urging people to demonstrate responsibility, she cited certain government initiatives to combat plastic use, such as addressing plastic medical waste, single-use plastics, and plastic packaging, to handle the situation.

Source: Anadolu Agency