Anti-polythene campaign ‘Go Green Bangladesh’ is promoting the commercial use of ‘Sonali Bag’, a locally-produced alternative to polythene.
Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan, who made the bag from jute cellulose, is giving full support to the campaign.
Owners of ‘Onuvob’, one of the first shops to embrace the bag, said they will donate 10 percent of their annual profits for anti-polythene campaign.
Polythene bags are a major environmental concern. A 2018 UN estimate suggested that they are being produced at a rate of one trillion a year. A conservative estimate put the number of polythene bags used daily in Dhaka at 14-15 million pieces.
Bangladesh banned thin polythene in 2002.
The country recently had a breakthrough in its search for a suitable alternative when Dr Khan made Sonali Bag in 2017. The bag not only looks and feels like plastic but is also compostable and completely biodegradable, the scientist said.
The bag currently costs about Tk 10 per piece but Dr Khan said the price will come down once they go into commercial production. “The price isn’t that high if you consider the environmental cost,” the scientist said.