• Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:52 am

ED: Ditching plastic has never been more urgent

  • Published at 02:50 am February 7th, 2021
plastic waste
Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Bans will do no good if they are not enforced across the board, and if satisfactory alternatives are not presented

There are many staunch defenders of plastic, and this is hardly a surprise. Plastic is inexpensive, convenient, and it has changed the world in the past century. But the undeniable reality is that plastic pollution has taken a devastating toll on the environment and on our planet. Bangladesh, a country of great natural beauty, is now awash with plastic pollution. This pollution is no mere eyesore, but a downright public health emergency. If we wish to develop as a nation, and improve the liveability of our cities, we simply must address this issue without delay.

The figures are alarming: Back in 1950, global plastic production was a mere 1.5 million tons. Today, that figure stands at a jaw-dropping 359 million tons a year. Much noise gets made about the efficacy of recycling, but the fact is, a mere 9% of plastic waste in the world gets recycled. The rest of it gets either incinerated, or ends up in dumps, landfills, or simply gets absorbed into the natural environment, with terrible environmental ramifications.

Although this is a global problem, it goes without saying that in this regard, Bangladesh is way behind. Our waste management system has a long way to go, and recycling is practically non-existent. The vast amount of plastic waste generated and disposed of improperly is visible to any casual observer. Our drainage system is frequently clogged with plastic, for example, exacerbating the flooding problem.

Then there are the problems that cannot be seen with the naked eye -- microplastics are ending up in the air we breathe and the food we eat. The long-term health impact of all these things remains to be seen.

Bans will do no good if they are not enforced across the board, and if satisfactory alternatives are not presented. Back in 2002, Bangladesh had banned single-use plastic and polythene bags, but nearly two decades later, we can see that success was limited. We simply must do more, by innovating, investing in alternatives, and by being uncompromising with our laws designed the protect the environment we live in.

101
Facebook 99
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail