One Country’s Steps to Solve Plastic Waste
We have come to the conclusion that the indiscriminate use of plastic has serious adverse effects on the environment, human health, and animal life.
Despite the hazardous effects of plastic, it has become an indispensable commodity in our daily lives.
It is a documented fact that the consumption of plastic fibers through food causes severe diseases such as asthma, pulmonary cancer, liver, nerve and brain damage, renal diseases, and much more.
However, the usage and manufacturing of plastic have increased threefold in the last 20 years for many countries, especially underdeveloped ones.
What Steps Must be Taken to Solve this Problem?
Countries should invest in effective projects which promote their local products. All governments should properly enforce eco-laws and also have a revised and strong plastic waste management system in place. This would assist in minimizing the usage of plastic and would contribute to the development of a better and healthier life for all.
Government Backing of Projects
Waste management activities are now being undertaken by Government Ministries on a wider scale. Many, with their governments backing their local products and providing more than adequate funding. This government’s backing of eco-friendly manufacturing projects also benefits the local businesses and farmers and boosts the total economy.
Are products available?
Some usage of eco-friendly products such as bamboo, wood, clay, steel, and other biodegradable materials has already been utilized by many countries fighting plastic waste. In some of them, several entrepreneurs and small businesses have already begun manufacturing and marketing goods made from these materials.
What Countries are Taking the Initiative?
Many countries have also followed suit and come up with creative solutions to limit plastic waste. One country started the “Pashe Achi Initiative, for example. This is a non-profit organization that encourages people to donate single-use plastics in exchange for books.
Taking the initiative to another level Denmark, and several countries like the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, etc. have decided to effectively combat plastic waste by placing high taxes on plastic and encouraging the use of environmentally beneficial and affordable alternatives. All of these methods have the potential to be very effective in reducing plastic waste.
However, Bangladesh, taking it a step further, has designed a “National Action Plan for Sustainable Plastic Management” in partnership with the World Bank. The project aims to reduce plastic use by 50% by 2025, eliminate single-use plastic by 90% by 2026, and minimize plastic waste production by 30% by 2030, starting from 2020-21. According to Gargi Das Chomok who is a student in the Department of Law at the University of Rajshahi.
He also stated that they emphasized circular usage of plastic based on the “3R Strategy”: reduce, reuse and recycle.
One alternative that has come out of all of this, is when the Ministry of Textiles and Jute of Bangladesh launched its pilot project to manufacture ‘Sonali Bags’.
Sonali Bags according to Chomok, “are eco-friendly polymer bags made from jute which can be used as an alternative to polythene. These biodegradable bags are more useful than regular polythene bags. The ministry has funded the project in order to produce these bags on a larger scale and at an affordable price.” Bangladesh, being the second-biggest producer of jute in the world, has a tremendous incentive to export these bags. This is a great example of a circular eco-economy and one step towards solving plastic waste.