Experts have urged the government for legislation in order to stop the growing production and usage of single-use plastic (SUP) which is causing severe environmental pollution in the country.
The demand came at a virtual project inception workshop organised by the Environment and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) on Monday where environment experts, activists, and concerned stakeholders urged the government for SUP regulation and enforcement.
Speakers also appealed to the stakeholders to stop using single-use plastic items like packaging, tubes, and sachets to save the environment from pollution and severe degradation.
A previously conducted three-year research by ESDO found that 7,928 billion microbeads were dumped in a month in the three major cities of Bangladesh.
ESDO, collaborating with The Plastic Solutions Fund (PSF), has taken up another initiative to reduce SUP pollution titled ‘Legislation for Combatting Single-Use Plastic Pollution’.
The purpose of the event was to officially launch the project goal and share information about the project objectives and implementation strategies with the stakeholders and media, also, to discuss and get recommendations from different stakeholders and guest participants.
Additional Secretary (Environment) of Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Mahmud Hasan addressed the event as the chief guest.
Keya Khan, special guest and the joint secretary of the ministry said that only enforcement cannot improve the situation. She urged that people need to be made aware of the adverse effect of it.
Discussing the detrimental impacts of single-use plastic, Dr Shahriar Hossain of ESDO pointed out that billions of tons of microplastic end up as litter each year and these are made of polypropylene which cause emission of greenhouse gases, and eventually contribute to global climate.
ESDO Executive Director Siddika Sultana said that the government should take steps to ensure environmentally safe management of disposed and wastages of plastic.
More than 50 participants from different stakeholder groups were present in the open forum demanding a sustainable solution to single-use plastic pollution in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh banned single-use plastic shopping bags in 2002, the country has fallen behind in regulation since then.
From the inception workshop, the experts cautioned in unison that the country is on the verge of experiencing major environmental havoc in the upcoming years owing to SUP plastic pollution.
Moreover, they stated that government regulation to ban the use, manufacture, and import of single-use plastic is a necessary step to help improve the situation to a great extent.