A massive amount of plastic waste will be generated by the end of this year, and the use of laminated posters in the Dhaka North and South City Corporation election 2020 will be partially responsible for increasing the amount.
Research by the Environment and Social Development Organisation (Esdo) revealed that 10,500 tonnes of plastic waste will be generated by the end of the year, of which 2,500 tonnes will be generated by the laminated posters used in the Dhaka city corporations' election campaigns.
The amount of generated waste was 7,145 tonnes in 2019.
Esdo presented the findings in a report titled 'Thermal Lamination Films: An Incising Health Hazard and Environmental Havoc of Dhaka City" at its Lalmatia office on Tuesday.
Every year, various types of waste including laminated posters, leaflets, and stickers are used in the Dhaka International Trade Fair, Ekushey Book Fair, trade shows and exhibitions and other marketing campaigns, which harm the soil, the water and the environment as a whole, according to the Esdo report.
The research also found that most of the plastic waste is generated from various trade shows and exhibitions. There will be around 54 exhibitions in Dhaka this year from where 3,499 tonnes of waste will be produced.
Since the campaigns for the Dhaka City Corporation elections started, as much as 2,471 tonnes of plastic has been used in the first 12 days.
Furthermore, 478 tonnes from the upcoming Ekushe Book Fair, 956 tonnes from the Dhaka International Trade Fair, 227 tonnes from leaflets and 2,807 tonnes of plastic waste from different markets, shops, restaurants, beauty parlours will be generated, the research reads.
It will be a great challenge to manage this waste because the authorities have no specific policy to address the issue, said the researchers. This single-use plastic will significantly reduce soil fertility, create water pollution, and spread waterborne diseases.
Esdo President Syed Marghub Murshed said the laminated posters would be a difficult problem for the elected mayors and councilors to solve.
He emphasised the need to ban plastics, and develop a policy to manage the already made plastics.
Esdo Secretary General Dr Shahriar Hossain said controlling plastic waste would be a great challenge for the authorities (city corporations).
It will be a headache for the city corporations because the laminated plastic posters are scattered everywhere. The authorities should take the responsibility of storing this waste immediately after the election ends. This waste cannot be burnt because the toxic gas that will be emitted will pollute the air.
The High Court recently issued a rule asking the candidates to remove all the laminated posters, however, no one has paid heed to it. Most of the posters hung across the city are laminated.