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8:24 am | July 19, 2024
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plastic aggression on st. martins beach, bangladesh
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environment Protection

Plastic aggression on St. Martin’s Beach, Bangladesh

Plastic aggression on St. Martin’s Beach, Bangladesh


Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit St. Martin’s Island every year, returning with fond memories, leaving behind plastic bottles and polythene. Those happy memories of travel fade away over time, but the plastic does not rot! The coral of St. Martin, the only coral island in the country, is now under threat due to the accumulation of discarded plastic.

According to a survey report of 2020, published in the ‘Ocean Science Journal’ Journal by a team of researchers from Dhaka University, ‘’The coral cover on the island decreased from 1.32 sq km to 0.39 sq km between 1980 and 2018. The number of coral species has come down from 141 to 40.

Volunteers of facebook’s travel and tourism group named ‘Travelers of Bangladesh (ToB)’’ recently removed 740kg of plastic and non-perishable waste from the island in a clean-up operation.

A ‘’floating barge’’ got built with the 740 kg of plastic waste and other non-biodegradable products collected from St. Martin, the main purpose of which is to create awareness.

The volunteers of TOB groups hope that their initiative of making a ‘’waste bin’’ by recycling the collected plastic waste will create awareness among travelers.

Niaz Morshed, the admin of BinTOB, a group of volunteers from Travelers of Bangladesh, said, ‘’The island could no longer bear the burden of plastic waste dumped by tourists.’’

‘’We also observed that ‘’a lot of plastic gathered on the coral bodies. Which were dropped five-seven years ago. As a result, the corals are dying. If the corals continue to die in this way, then the fish will not travel here. As a result, human habitation on the island will be threatened,’’ he added.

Fishing is the main occupation of a large part of the permanent residents of St. Martin. But they are not aware of these issues. Therefore, Morshed thinks that the government and the volunteers should play an important role in this regard.

“Our only coral island, St. Martin, is slowly becoming polluted and on the verge of extinction. Maybe in a few years, we will lose this island. But no one is focusing on that, ‘’ Niaz Morshed further said.

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