Paperbags made out of school
book and newspaper to replace
Ban the bags!!! The government has taken the drastic step of banning
the sale of polythene bags. The ban originally applied to Dhaka,
and has since spread to the rest of the country.
The decision was
finally taken to save the city from an impending environmental
disaster. It is estimated that about ten million polythene bags are
Dhaka everyday, with nine million being dumped.
The majority of
these are not left in designated areas, but instead are discarded
streets or into the drains.
Impact on the environment Since plastic does not decompose, the
polythene bags clog drains and sewers, resulting in water logging.
The Department of the Environment has also estimated that the bottom
of the Buriganga river has layers of plastic bags of 5 to 6 feet
in depth, which has not only destroyed life in the river, but is
also contributing to the collapse of the city's drainage system.
To recycle the polythene bags results in the release of hydrogen
cyanide gas, which can lead to breathing difficulties and chest
Return of jute Attempts have been made to ban them in the past,
and it remains to be seen how effective the current ban is.
has been opposition from the polythene bag manufacturers, who claim
that around 1,300,000 workers will be made redundant. However,
this claim has been disputed by the government and NGOs.
In the meantime,
the production of environmentally friendly jute bags is increasing.
Many of the jute mills had closed in the past because the use
of plastic had made them unviable, so they are now returning to full
an installation by art student in
using an old watertank
Double jeopardy There are other forms of pollution which cause serious
In the case of Uttara Model Town, not only is the lake
turning black in some areas as a result of latrines disposing human
excreta straight into it, but there are also untreated sewer outlets
in some sectors.
Despite this, the Bangladesh Fisheries Development
Corporation is breeding fish in the lake without any steps to
clean the water first - which means that those fish which survive
pollution are likely to carry toxins into the food chain.
face a case of double contamination