Plastic The Utmost Killer Of Environment
The global discussion on the various causes of environmental pollution and its effects, including climate change and the health risks to wildlife, is going on. Needless to say, the unpredictable change in climate as a result of pollution of important elements of the environment such as water, air, soil, etc., is a threat to the earth and mankind. Like many other countries in the world, the environment of Bangladesh is also a victim of severe pollution. Many rivers have lost their navigability and turned into narrow canals.
We have never been able to meet the requirement of having 25% forest cover of the total area of a country. On top of this, in the interest of unplanned urbanization, unscientific development and the ever-increasing population's habitat and to meet all the unavoidable needs, the so-called 17 percent forest area is also decreasing day by day. Soil fertility is also being lost due to various reasons. We have not yet reached the point of modernization in waste management. Every day thousands of tons of garbage and waste materials are being burnt in the open or dumped in canals, ditches, etc. As a result, just as fresh air is losing its naturalness, so is usable water.
The lion's share of the responsibility for the contamination of the three essential elements of the natural environment (soil, water and air) lies with the banned polythene used in our various activities. Liability of plastic materials is no less. The polythene we throw away after use does not rot in 100 years. As a result, it is destroying the fertility of the soil. Toxic fumes produced by burning polythene or plastics in a new way are indiscriminately destroying the purity of air. Water is logged in drains.
In addition, huge amounts of polythene and plastic waste are being deposited directly into the sea through rivers, destroying sea water and rich biodiversity. And the direct result or effect of all this is easy to guess how harmful it is to our environment and lives. Polythene and plastics are responsible for the increase in the amount of polluted water on the roads, damage to riverbank settlements and other structures due to light rains, increased presence of toxic substances in the air, respiratory problems and other diseases in people of all ages.
Bangladesh ranks tenth in the world in terms of polythene and plastic waste production. More than a thousand factories in and around the capital produce banned polythene. At present, polythene is being used in the packaging of almost all products from chocolates, chewing gum to TVs, refrigerators and cars. People are forced to use polythene due to lack of alternative materials. And this discarded polythene is being thrown away after use. This is increasing the disaster of the friendly environment.
Public awareness is very important to prevent the effects of anything harmful. Public awareness activities to stop the use of polythene and plastic materials should be done regularly and intensified. Awareness about the destruction of polythene and plastics among the masses on a large scale is able to play the most important role in protecting the environment. The mass media and the most widely used and popular social media in recent times can be a powerful and timely medium for creating awareness.
At the same time, one of the demands of the time is to adopt timely modern plan in the management of waste polythene and plastic-waste of household and commercial establishments of the country. The government has to take special initiatives for the management of environmentally friendly waste in the style of developed countries. Our future generations will suffer more than us for environmental disasters. Only our highest awareness and strict application of customary law can protect the present and future environment. Joint initiative of government and non-government parties is also needed. Only then will we always have a real ally environment.
(Abu Faruk is an Assistant Teacher, Vagyakul Govt. Primary School, Bandarban).