The High Court on Monday directed the government to take necessary steps to stop the use of polythene bags and one-time plastic products across the country, including the coastal region, within a year.
The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order with a rule.
Deputy Attorney General Saifuddin Khaled represented the state while Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) Executive Director Syeda Rizwana Hasan and advocate Syed Ahmed Kabir stood for the petitioners.
The HC ordered the authorities concerned to monitor markets, seal off polythene-making factories and seize machinery used for its production.
The top court asked the respondents to submit a progress report in this regard with affidavit within January 5, 2021. The HC set January 10 for the next hearing.
It issued a rule seeking explanation as to why inaction of the respondents in banning polythene and plastic products will not be beyond legal jurisdiction. It also wanted to know why the authorities will not take a work plan to find a safe alternative to ploythene and one-time plastic products by December 31, 2022.
The Forest and Environment Secretary, Industries Secretary, Commerce Secretary, and Textile and Jute Secretary were made respondents to the rule.
On December 17, 2019, 11 organisations, including Bela, filed a writ petition seeking to know the legality of using, production, and sale of plastic and polythene products.