Polythene is a word very familiar to us. From waking up in the morning to brushing our teeth to going to bed at night, the use of polythene products is widespread in our lives. It is a non perishable substance. So it pollutes the soil and water, remaining unchanged and unaltered for a long time. Decreases soil fertility and destroys it through quality change. In agriculture, polythene can prevent sunlight reaching the soil. As a result, crop production is reduced in the land as the harmful bacteria in the soil are not killed, as a result polythene seriously harms the environment. Also when new polythene is made from burning old polythene, the polyphenyl chloride in it produces carbon monoxide and poisons the air.
Section 6 (a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1995 was added to implement the government's ban on the production, marketing and use of polythene in 2002. Section 15 of the law states that if a person produces, imports or markets prohibited polythene materials, he can be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of Taka 10 lakh, or even both.According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, 1 million plastic bottles go into the sea every minute and 1.3 million tons of plastic fall into the sea every year. Our country has produced more than 6,000 tons of polythene waste a year during the coronavirus epidemic. Of this, only Dhaka produced 5,996 tons. Bangladesh is now holding tenth place in the world in the production of polythene and plastic waste. Its production, marketing and use have not stopped even after it was banned by law, with the opportunity of legal weakness. Influential businesses of the country are indifferent to the environmental damage done by polythene. Why is the law in this country not effective? The developed countries of the world are increasing their demand for jute and jute products and are avoiding synthetic fibers, polythene. We can expect much profit from it by increasing use of our natural jute fibre products.
Polythene takes more than a hundred years to mix with soil. Due to the widespread use of polythene, the sewers of the metropolis are being clogged. Drainage system is collapsing. Soil is losing its fertility due to polythene waste, and poison is spreading in the air. Canals, beels and rivers are being filled, water is being polluted.
Polythene releases a toxic substance called polyphenol. Which is terribly harmful to the human body. After being used freely by the people, the leftover polythene thrown away falls into the drains. As a result, the drainage system became unusable and caused waterlogging. Polythene piled up on the roads is often burnt. This burnt polythene also causes environmental pollution.
Abandoned polythene bags disrupt the city's sewerage system. Due to the widespread use of polythene and various plastic products without proper disposal, they are spreading all over the country from roads, ghats, canals, beels, rivers and canals to the sea. The environment is being seriously polluted. This pollution is entering the human body through the fish caught from these reservoirs. As a result, it is leading to even serious cancers and skin diseases.
After land in our country, this time the water as well as the sea is being poisoned by toxic polythene. Polythene bags and plastic bottles are also being dumped at Cox's Bazar beach or St. Martin's beach. Due to the increase of huge amounts of carbon dioxide and lead in the air, the trees produce less oxygen and the effect of lack of oxygen increases the risk of asthma or respiratory disease in human beings, decreasing human fertility and immunity. Many families are spending a lot of money for treatment. The end result is premature death.
Stop using polythene and one-time plastic to protect people, animals and the environment. Public awareness should be raised on the use of glass bottles, sacks and paper bags instead of plastic and polythene as an alternative. In order to protect the environment, the conscience must have a responsibility for human beings to survive in the world. In addition to this, the government has to fulfill its responsibility to protect the environment by making strict laws and rules and implementing them. Only then will it be possible to save the next generation.
Rashed Islam, a student of Joypurhat Government College