Preventing plastic pollution

Improve waste management system

Published : 13 Jan 2022 08:46 PM

It is disheartening to learn that around 17,000 tonnes of plastic is produced in the country every day and only half of it is recycled, according to the Department of Environment. Reportedly, in Dhaka city alone, plastic waste has gone up more than 3.5 times from 178 tons per day in 2005 to 646 tons per day in 2020. Of that 646 tons, only 37 percent is recycled, and mostly by the informal sector.

According to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), the amount of waste generated daily in the areas under the corporation is 2,210 tonnes on average. The daily generated waste in the areas under North City Corporation is about 2,855 tonnes. Reportedly, waste volume soars up by 18 percent every year, and polythene and plastic products cover a big part of this huge waste.  Though the production and use of polythene in Bangladesh were banned nearly in 2002, polythene shopping bags still rule the market.

As pollution proliferates, 

we need to curb mindless 

use of plastic 

Efficient waste management has been a challenging task for Dhaka City Corporation authorities. With increasing rate of population the waste generation rate of the capital is also increasing at a startling rate. In order to deal with the increasing waste generation rate, a strategic, holistic and sustainable waste management practice should be reinforced in no time.

As pollution proliferates, we need to curb mindless use of plastic. In order to reduce plastic pollution, we all have an essential role to play, from making small lifestyle chapnges such as shopping with reusable bags to raising our voices for more progressive and sustainable policies.  Our voices can become an impetus behind public policy decisions. Addressing plastic pollution is not only a crucial development agenda but an opportunity to innovate, create new green jobs, ensuring a green growth pathway for Bangladesh. 

We need to determine concrete targets and devise roadmaps for reducing avoidable plastic use. Necessary measures should be integrated to scale up plastic waste collection and reinforce recycling capacity through investment. Also. we need to conduct awareness campaigns to convince consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics and encourage them to move towards healthier and more sustainable ways of living that will benefit their families and their communities. There is the need for creating consciousness among city dwellers to develop a well-organised  practice of waste disposal through media demonstrations and campaigning programme.