Polythene shopping bags back in new from: DOE blamed

Polythene shopping bags back in new from: DOE blamed

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Dhaka, Jan 20 – Some Green activists here on Saturday alleged that the polythene shopping bag ban law has become ineffective due to ‘inaction’ of the Department of Environment (DoE).Speaking at a human chain programme, they also said the widespread use of polythene bags from shopping malls to kitchen markets gives an impression that the DoE has forgotten that it has a responsibility to implement the law and check the production and use of non-biodegradable polythene bags.
Poribesh Banchao Andolon (Poba) and 16 other environmental and social organisations formed the human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding proper implementation of the law enacted in 20012 banning the polythene bags.
Speaking at the programme, Poba general secretary Abdus Sobhan said around 1,200 factories in the capital and elsewhere across the country are regularly producing the banned polythene bags thanks to the lack of monitoring by the DoE and law enforcers. “There’re over 300 polythene factories alone at the old part of Dhaka.”
He also alleged that a number of influential syndicates are involved in polythene bag trading and marketing.
Sobhan said the production and the use of polythene bags are growing alarmingly for lack of the government’s strong political will and insincerity on part of the DoE, police administration and National Board of Revenue in enforcing the law.
Citing a study report, he said over two crores of polythene is used in Dhaka city every day alone.
The other speakers urged the government to take steps for stopping the production of polythene and tissue shopping bags, bringing the producers and users of the bags under law, making alternative bags like jute, paper and clothes-made ones available in the market and encouraging people to use those instead of polythene bags.
In 2002, the then government enacted a law banning the production, supply, sale and use of polythene as shopping bags.
However, under the Bangladesh Environment Protect (Amendment 2002) Act 1995, the government in 2007 allowed the production of 55-micron thick polythene for the packaging of garment products, medicine, fish fry, sapling and some other goods and products which virtually contributed to the rise in production and the use of the harmful object. – UNB

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