Polythene bags have managed to stage a huge comeback, despite a government ban on their use in the country. Their use has seen such a massive increase because of availability, cheap prices and lax monitoring. The alternatives, jute and net bags are not used as much because they are not as easily available. There is increasing evidence that even if a small percentage of polythene bags are littered, they still have a devastating impact on the environment.
Plastic bags are non-biodegradable, and are extremely hazardous to the environment. Furthermore, plastic bags block drains and release toxic fumes when burned. The government did impose a ban on the use of plastic bags its use still remains rampant. This however should not dissuade the government from taking further steps.
With jute bags becoming all the vogue, the concerned authorities can now employ newer techniques such as airing advertisementsandusing billboards to show the benefits of jute or biodegradable bags.
At any cost, the government must try to reduce the use of plastic products. Governments all over the world have taken action to ban the sale of lightweight single-use plastic bags. While the ban continues to remain in force in Bangladesh, the time has come that all of us should stand together to implement the total ban on plastic bags, which is choking us slowly. A number of mobile courts try to impose fines time to time but bigger fines should be enforced, to encourage the ban and stop this catastrophe.
Zubair Khaled Huq