Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) has demanded stricter execution of the law that banned polythene shopping bags, calling for punishment of organisations and people using polythene.
Bapa's Buriganga Bachao Andolon, polythene, plastic, hazardous chemicals and waste management committee, and Green Voice, a pro-environmentalist youth organisation, jointly put forward their five-point demand at an anti-polythene leaflet distribution programme in the city on Friday.
They started the programme at the capital's Mohammadpur Town Hall, marched through Hazaribagh and Kamrangir Char, ending their march at Sadarghat on the River Buriganga. Environmental activists and leaders also visited various historic places and heritage sites along the river.
They called for taking legal steps to shut down factories producing illegal polythene shopping bags; taking strict action against misuse of polythene making raw materials; initiating government and private initiatives to ensure the use of eco-friendly paper, jute and cloth shopping bags; and ensuring exemplary punishment of those who attacked a television journalist doing report on illegal polythene bags.
Talking about their programme, Bapa's joint secretary Mihir Biswas said that in 2002, when the government slapped the ban on polythene bags, it was hailed as a key step towards reducing environmental pollution. But due to improper execution of the law, some dishonest businessmen have been marketing illegal polythene bags and tissue polythene (non-woven) bags.
Except for a short time when the plastic ban was first introduced, the environment-hostile shopping bags came back. People have continued to use polythene shopping bags in spite of strict acts banning the use of these products, he added.