Over 78,000 tonnes of poly bag waste were generated during the pandemic period in the last year despite the production and use of the item has been illegal in Bangladesh for nearly two decades, according to a study.

The new study assessed the country situation of polythene bag usage from April’20 to March’21 by baseline survey, and found that total generated waste from used polythene bags in Dhaka is about 5,996 tonnes and in the whole country this is around 78,433 tonnes.

Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) on Saturday unveiled the study findings in a Policy Briefing and Dialogue on “Enforcement of Law on Polythene Bag Ban: Restore the Ecosystem” virtually.

“According to a recent study more than 78 thousand tonnes of poly bag waste generated in one year of pandemic in Bangladesh and illegal production of poly bags goes up to half a million a day,” ESDO said.

It organised the virtual dialogue on the occasion of World Environment Day.

Experts and government officials express the need for strict enforcement of the polythene bag ban law from the roots to the top. Experts said that in an alarming situation of the outbreak of illegal polythene bags, we should take affirmative initiative immediately. 

Former Secretary and ESDO Chairperson Syed Marghub Murshed chaired the session; addressing the alarming situation of poly bag use he urged the government to take immediate legal steps to stop all illegal production and marketing of poly bags.

Syed Marghug Murshed also called for the SMEs to come forward to produce more alternatives of poly bags.

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Amongst others, Keya Khan, joint secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change attended the dialogue and encouraged people to behave responsibly.

The meeting recommended a set of roles and responsibilities to enforce poly bag ban law from upazila to the district level, and particularly in all city corporation areas while participants also underlined the need for mass public awareness and promote Zero-waste practice and living.

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