Plastic bags continue to be a major obstacle for environmental sustenance
One of the most important realizations a nation can make is understanding the fact that development and the environment go hand in hand.
This is especially true for a low-lying delta like Bangladesh, which continues to stand as one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
However, while we have continued to rise up the ranks in development -- Bangladesh is now among the world’s five fastest growing economies, with a 7.3% GDP growth projection according to the World Bank -- it is unfortunate that we have not been able to prioritize the environment to the extent required.
For example, when it comes to waste management, we have failed to recycle and reuse and capitalize on its potential, something that countries around the world have been doing for years and, instead, have continued to dump it or burn it -- both these methods wreaking havoc with the environment.
This is evident not only from the massive amounts of air pollution all across the nation and the clogged drains which can be found in our cities, but also in the current state some of our most important national symbols, such as Cox’s Bazar, where the beach is choking on tons of burning trash and raw sewage.
In addition, plastic bags continue to be a major obstacle for environmental sustenance, as more than 250,000 metric tons of plastic are still being produced, despite them being banned more than a decade ago.
It is of the utmost importance that our policies change and that, at every step we take towards progress, we do so with the environment in mind.
All the development effort we have put in will mean little if the environment is damaged in the process.