It is the job of the authorities to implement the ban that they put forth
It is unfortunate that, despite being banned since 2002, making their usage and production illegal in Bangladesh, polythene bags continue to be widely used all over the country.
What is even more unfortunate is that, when it comes to addressing the problem caused by polythene bags, instead of working together to devise solutions, there seems to be finger pointing instead of accountability.
Additionally, it sets a poor precedent for the country when the authorities blame the public for an adminstrative problem.
While it is true that many in our population use polythene bags without thinking about their long-term ill-effects, it is the job of the authorities to implement the ban that they put forth in the first place and educate the masses on why polythene bags are a problem.
To that end, more support must be given to the Department of Environment for educating the people on the harm polythene causes, along with drives to stop the illegal production of polythene bags.
However, despite claims made by government agencies of a lack of a viable alternative, there remain several solutions that can be pursued; bags made of jute fibres have always been a part of our culture, and could be just the alternative we are looking for.
On that front, it is good to see that the government is serious about this alternative, and we hope that investing more in jute becomes the norm.
Polythene has caused enough harm to our already climate-vulnerable country, and it is time to do away with them once and for all.