PM for use of jute bags instead of plastics

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday laid emphasis on increasing the use of jute-made products giving up plastic-made ones as it has become a great threat to the environment globally.

“Plastic has become a huge problem for the world; it causes pollution. We saw it blocks canals and the drainage system. Wherever there is plastic, you’ll find problem there,” she said.

The prime minister was speaking at the function of World Environment Day, tree fair and campaign for tree plantation at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

She said when Awami League came to power in 1996, it took steps to ban the use of plastic products and find out its alternative.

Stressing the importance of increasing the use of jute-made products, Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken numerous programmes to bring back the golden days of jute and its products.

She mentioned that scientists have already invented a jute-made biodegradable polybag called ‘Sonali Bag’.

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporations (BJMC), a wing of jute and textiles ministry, is producing Sonali Bag as a substitute for the polythene bag.

“We can use it as the substitute of polybags,” she said adding that jute-made small bags can be used increasingly.

Fashionable bags are now produced from jute, Hasina said pointing at the handbag she was carrying. “This was also made of jute.”

The premier went on saying, “New jute-made goods have ushered in huge potentials for Bangladesh as the pollution issue has come up globally.”

Hasina said Bangladesh is a jute-producing country and its diversified use can be beneficial for the country both environmentally and economically. “We can export, we can save money; jute is an environment-friendly item.”

She also urged all to go for reusing plastic products or refuse it totally as protection of the environment is very important.

Briefly describing various programmes of her government for protecting the environment, the prime minister said the government has taken plans for housing, industry and economic zones so that the environment could be kept intact. “We’ve taken the steps so that we could protect the environment properly.”

She said the monitoring and enforcement of the Department of Environment has been strengthened.

To make the department stronger, she said the government has already created 468 new posts in addition to the existing 267 posts.

Environment, forest and climate change minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, deputy minister Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on environment, forest and climate change ministry Hasan Mahmud and secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.

The theme of this year's World Environment Day is “Beat the Plastic Pollution” with the slogan- If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.

This year's theme for the National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair is “Live in Green, Protect the Green and Decorate the City-life-Environment”.

The prime minister also inaugurated the 3 million saplings plantation programme to pay tributes to the 3 million people who embraced martyrdom during the country's liberation war on the occasion of ‘National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair’ by planting a chhatim sapling on the BCCI compound.

Earlier, the premier handed over Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation, National Environment Award and Prime Minister's National Award for tree plantation at the event.

She also inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2018 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital and visited different stalls at the fair.