The apex court also issued an order to enforce the legal ban on polythene through strict monitoring
The High Court on Monday directed the authorities concerned of the government to ban single-use plastic products in coastal areas and all hotels and motels across the country in the next one year.
The apex court also issued an order to enforce the legal ban on polythene through strict monitoring.
Single-use plastic products include drinking straws, cotton buds, food packaging, food containers, bottles, plates, plastic cutlery and plastic bags.
After hearing a writ petition jointly filed by 11 organisations, including the Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (Bela), the High Court bench of Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandakar Diliruzzaman came up with the order.
The court also issued a rule asking why the inaction of the respondents should not be declared illegal.
Environment secretary, industry secretary, trade secretary, water resources secretary, civil and tourism secretary, textile and jute secretary, director general of the Department of Environment and chairman of Bangladesh Plastic Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association have been asked to implement the order and respond to the rule.
The defendants have been asked to report to the court on the implementation of this order by January 5 next year. And the matter is set for hearing on January 10 next year.
The court also instructed the authorities concerned to prepare a work plan on what can be a safer alternative to once-used plastic products by December 5, 2022.
It also sought an explanation why the government will not be called failed in implementing the existing legal ban on polythene.
Advocate Syeda Rezwana Hasan and Syed Ahmed Kabir appeared for the writ petitioners while Deputy attorney general Saifuddin Khaled stood for the state.
The damage caused by polythene bags and single-use plastics products in Bangladesh has been increasing steadily. They reduce land fertility, cause air pollution and threaten aquatic flora and fauna, petitioner lawyer Sayeda Rizwana Hasan told journalists after the hearing.
Some 127 countries have already taken strict actions against single-use plastic products and polythene. But Bangladesh has taken no step yet, she added.
The writ petition was filed with the High Court on 17 December last year, demanding that the production, sale, marketing and distribution of plastic products be stopped.