01 July, 2018, Dhaka: “Beat the Plastic Pollution, Ban the Bag” the International Plastic Bag Free Day on 3, July. More than 150 countries are ready to celebrate the day this year. Environment and Social Development Organization urged the government to execute the bag ban law and phase out all single use plastic. ESDO Chairperson and former Secretary Syed Marghub Murshed announce the event of celebration of the “Plastic Bag Free Day” in a press briefing in Dhaka.
Syed Marghub Murshed said, “this year the International Plastic Bag free Day is very significant, because UN Environment also announces the theme of world environment day “Beat the Plastic Pollution” and all UN member state (over 193 countries) celebrate or celebrating the day with a fresh commitment. He informed the media, more than 40 countries and 55 cities ban the plastic bag. But this story began in Bangladesh in 1990. Environment and Social Development Organization is the pioneer organization for banning plastic bag in Bangladesh and bound. Bangladesh is the 1st country in the world to Ban Plastic Shopping bag in 2002, and ESDO initiated the national campaign in 1990 and launched Plastic Bag-Free Day in July 1, 1997. Later GAIA and other international organization support the initiative and in July 3, 2009 GAIA mark the day and launched International Plastic Bag Free Day. Syed Marghub Murshed said, we are the pioneer country to ban the plastic bag, but couldn’t succeeded to enforcement of the law, He urged the government and all section of the people to come forward work hand to hand to execute the bag ban law and phase out all single use plastic.”
In the Press Briefing, among other Professor Abu Jafar Mahmud, Supernumerary Professor of the Department of Chemistry of Dhaka University; Prof. Dr. Md. Abul Hashem, Chairman (Chemical Division), Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute; Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General and Siddika Sultana, Executive Director ESDO was present.
Professor Md. Abul Hashem, Chairman, Chemical Division, BSTI said, “Awareness should be raised against the use of plastic bags. He said ,plastic shopping bags are a huge environmental problem and are causing huge issues that affect human and animal health. So, educate your friends, family, neighbors and children about the impact plastic bags have on our country.’’
Dr. Shahriar informed the journalist that “each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year. He said, the majority of plastic bags are made of polypropylene, a material that is made from petroleum and natural gas. He informed, both of these materials are non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources and through their extraction and production, they create greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change. The production of these bags is also very energy intensive. To produce nine plastic bags, it takes the equivalent energy to drive a car one kilometer (more than 0.5 miles). Using these non-renewable resources to make plastic bags is very short-sighted, considering that the typical useful life of each plastic bag is about 12 minutes.”
ESDO Executive Director Siddika Sultana said, “this year to mark the International Plastic Bag Free Day, ESDO will continue its effort to create public awareness and organize a day long mobile campaign in Dhaka City on 3, July.”
In 1989, under the leadership of Dr. Shahriar Hossain a few enthusiastic people initiated anti-polythene campaigning in Bangladesh. After that individual initiative got organizational base by founding Environment and Social Development Organization – ESDO in 6, June 1990. This organization first initiated campaign against the single use plastic shopping bag in 1990 and organized a nation-wide anti-polythene campaign. supported by local and foreign organizations as well as media. In July 1, 1997 ESDO initiated “Plastic Bag-free day”. After long efforts ESDO is succeeded to ban the production and use of polythene in January 1, 2002 in Dhaka city and March 1, 2002 in countrywide. Later, GAIA, Zero Waste Europe and other international network supported the initiative and Zero Waste Europe marked and celebrated International “Bag-Free Day” on July 3, in 2009. ESDO also received world-wide recognition for the commitment and success of the campaign – Australia, India, Pakistan, United States of America, Japan, and European countries, have either recognized or followed ESDO’s initiative.
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