Ban on polythene falls on deaf ears

Production, use of poly bags go hand in hand

Mahabub Alam

7 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Despite a series of media reports and drives by law enforcers, production and use of polythene bags continue unabated.

A section of businessmen is still producing poly bags although the authorities  banned harmful polythene in 2004. 

Waste poly bags are blocking the drainage system and the flow of water in the capital, thus contributing to stagnation of water after a little shower.

From general public to law enforcers, all are the regular users of poly bags particularly when something is bought.

Polythene factories are in operation round the clock in old Dhaka, sources said.   

According to the residents of Chawk Bazar, there are about 80 polythene factories only at Islambagh.

This correspondent visited Kamalbag in Islambagh and found polythene production factories in the area.

Ismail Mia, an employee in such a factory, told the daily sun they had been producing poly bags for a long time.

In response to a question as to whether lawmen conduct raid on polythene factories, he replied in the negative.

Contacted, additional superintendent of police at Chawk Bazar Zone said he was busy and unable to talk on the matter.    

Waste poly bags have already flooded the Buriganga Canal from Chawk Bazar’s Kamalbagh to Kamrangirchar’s Jhawchar.

 Several parts of Kalyanpur canal are also seen in similar position.

Mohammad Jamil, a cobbler by profession at Shyamoli, said every day, some residents in the areas throw household wastes in polythene bags on the bank of the canal.

He added that slum dwellers and other poor people collect polythene bags from the piles of wastage every day. Even after that, some remain there, he added.

If anyone goes to kitchen market to buy vegetables, fish, meat and other things, he must come back with polythene bags containing every item.

Jalal Uddin, a resident at Gulshan, was returning to his residence after buying vegetables, fish, meat and other essential commodities from a kitchen market at Gulshan-2.

All his purchased items were in the polythene bags he was carrying.

Jalal told the daily sun they had nothing to do except taking things in polythene bags as there was no alternative to it.

According to Rapid Action Battalion, 23 kinds of packaging polythene have legality to be produced and used.

But polythene bellow 50 macrons is being produced and sold which are totally banned.

Sarwar Alam, executive magistrate of RAB, said they had so far stopped 38 polythene factories.

There are some factories producing the bags at night, he added.

Environmentalist Syeda Rizwana Hasan said: “Polythene enters in our food cycle in cases.”

She called for steps to introduce an alternative to poly bag, urged the authorities concerned to stop production and use of polythene to protect environment.