Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin on Sunday said the government of Bangladesh has not allowed and will never allow plastic waste and its illegal trade into our country.
The minister said this while speaking as the chief guest at a virtual high-level policy dialogue on “Toxic plastic waste trade and its trans-boundary movement”, organized by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO.“Developed countries like USA and UK have tried to send their plastic waste in our country. But, in May 2019, some 1400 delegates who also included delegates from Bangladesh agreed to include plastic waste into “Basel Convention” and develop a legal framework,” he said.
“The government of Bangladesh has committed to ratify Basel Ban Amendment and already developed a legal framework to control the transboundary movement of plastic wastes. Moreover, “Import Policy Order 2015-2018” restricts the entrance of any waste into Bangladesh.”
Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh H.E. Mr. ITO Naoki said, “Addressing plastic waste trade is a very difficult field. This is no easy issue. So, it requires our collective effort and international cooperation.”
“My real concern is about the ecosystem of the Bay of Bengal. Plastic waste trade and its trans-boundary movement may ruin the ecosystem of Bay of Bengal which is important for the sustainable development of Bangladesh,” he said.
Dr A.K.M. Rafique Ahammed, Director-General of the Department of Environment, said, “We will be happy to ratify Basel Ban Amendment soon. We have stopped several attempts to import wastes into our country.”
“We have a strong position against all wastes. Plastic wastes do not stand alone as they contain other hazardous chemicals,” he said.ESDO Chairperson Syed Marghub Murshed asked everyone to consider the gravity of the plastic waste trade.
He also urged the government to make a formal legal framework to ban plastic waste trade. However, in recent years, several shipments containing plastic waste from developed countries reached Bangladesh, after countries like China, Malaysia stopped taking plastics.
Amongst other distinguished guests, Keya Khan, Joint Secretary, MOEFCC; Md.Ziaul Haque, Director (AQM), DoE; Tripti Arora, coordinator, IPEN South Asia Hub, Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad, Chief Technical Advisor, Sustainable Forests and Livelihood – SUFAL project; Dr. Abu Jafar Mahmood, Former Professor, Department of Chemistry, Dhaka University also joined the dialogue.