Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for increasing the use of jute products and boycotting the plastic ones as plastic has become a great threat to the environment globally.
“Plastic has become a huge problem for the world; plastic causes pollution. Sometimes we saw it blocks the drainage system and canals also. Wherever there is plastic, you will find problems there,” she said.
The premier was speaking at the function of World Environment Day, Tree Fair and National Tree Plantation Campaign at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
Hasina said when Awami League came to power in 1996, it took steps to ban the use of plastic products and find out its alternatives.
The government took numerous programmes to bring back the golden days of jute and its products, she added.
She mentioned that scientists have already invented a jute-made biodegradable poly bag called Sonali Bag.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporations is producing Sonali Bag as a substitute for the polythene bag, which is harmful to the environment and human health.
The PM said people can use Sonali Bag as the substitute of poly bags.
Fashionable bags were being produced from jute, the PM said pointing at her handbag. “This is also made of jute.”
New jute products have ushered in huge potentials for Bangladesh as the pollution issue came up globally, she told the programme.
Hasina said Bangladesh is a jute-producing country and its diversified use can be beneficial for it both environmentally and economically.
She also urged all to go for reusing plastic products or refuse it totally as protection of the environment was very important.
Briefly describing various programmes of her government for protecting the environment, the PM said the government has drawn up plans for housing, industry and economic zones so that the environment could be kept intact.
She said the monitoring and enforcement of the Department of Environment has been stepped up.
To make the department stronger, Hasina said the government has already created 468 new posts in addition to the existing 267.
Environment Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Deputy Minister for Environment Abdullah Al Islam Jakob and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Hasan Mahmud, among others, spoke at the programme.
The theme of this year's World Environment Day is “Beat the Plastic Pollution” with the slogan -- If you can't reuse it, refuse it.
This year's theme for the National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair is “Live in Green, Protect the Green and Decorate the City-life-Environment”.
Hasina also inaugurated plantation of 30 lakh saplings to pay tributes to 30 lakh martyrs of Liberation War by planting a Chatim sapling at the BCCI compound.
Earlier, she handed over Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation, National Environment Award and Prime Minister's National Award for Tree Plantation at the event.
She also inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2018 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and went round different stalls at the fair.