Finding solutions which will be effective in the long run is crucial
It is hardly news that plastic pollution plagues the global environment.
However, despite increasing awareness about its adverse effects and constant attempts to limit its use, plastic production is still on the rise in many parts of the world.
In Dhaka alone, thousands of tons of plastic waste are generated annually. This plastic poses a variety of problems such as clogged drainage systems, damaged wildlife habitats and marine eco-systems, and an overall poorer quality of the local environment.
Consequently, it is imperative that effective measures be implemented to tackle this crisis.
Recycling, although presented as the one-stop solution to any and all problems plastic, is hardly our champion in the war on plastic. Although definitely an upgrade from taking no measure at all, plastics are not infinitely recyclable, and a great number of single-use plastics are not recyclable at all.
As such, finding solutions which will be effective in the long run is crucial. The use of plant-based alternatives has been a long-proposed solution, and is perhaps one of the most potent. Numerous products of the sort are already available, such as bamboo straws, jute products, and bio-degradable bags produced from cassava starch; however, most of these products are yet to take off commercially.
In order for these alternatives to become more popular, they must be made far cheaper and more accessible than their plastic counterparts. Government assistance is essential for this objective to be achieved.
An environment free from plastic pollution will pave the way for a more liveable urban landscape, and a more sustainable economy.