Public Health and Environment at Risk in One Time used Plastic Cup
By Adnan Mahfuz
The use of ‘one time’ plastic teacups has increased significantly in Abhaynagar of Jashore on coronavirus’s pretext. It has spread all over the Upazila. Waterlogging has increased for these non-perishable cups lying around. Increased risks to public health and the environment.
Environmentalists have demanded that necessary steps be taken to stop the use of plastic cups.
It has been found that there are about eight thousand small and big tea stalls in Abhaynagar Upazila.
About one lakh cups of tea are sold in these shops every day. Eighty percent of the tea is served in one-time plastic cups. During the visit to various Upazila markets, there were some conversations with tea shopkeepers Abdur Rahman, Akbar Ali, Kalim Uddin, and Anwar Hossain.
They were forced to offer tea in the cup due to their complaints, customer demand, and local police pressure. When it is wanted to know where to throw the cup after use, they avoid it.
Mangal Kumar, a plastic trader in Nawapara Bazar, said about 20 business firms sell one-time plastic items. Nearly one lakh ‘one-time-use’ plastic teacups are sold every day. Varieties are sold wholesale for 70 to 100 paisa per piece.
Kamrul Hasan, a member of the environmental organization Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), said plastics are as harmful to the environment. It is essential to take adequate measures to stop the use of these non-perishable plastic materials immediately.
SM Mahamudur Rahman Rizvi, Upazila Health and Family Planning officer, said about non-perishable products made of plastic. If someone takes tea or hot water in a plastic cup, it severely damages the skin, including the heart, kidney, and liver. Harmful chemicals called polymers are used to make these products, which causes adverse reactions in the human body and poses a terrible threat to the environment.
Non-perishable plastic is born but does not die. It is also harmful to agriculture when mixing with soil and detrimental to the water living organisms. It is better to use clay or glass products instead of plastic.
Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) KM Rafiqul Islam said the use of plastic products made from a mixture of polyethylene and polypropylene or any of its compounds is a violation of Section ‘A’ of the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act (BECA) 1995 (6).
Those who sell and use these products can be sentenced to two years in jail, a fine of Tk. 200,000 or both. There is a need to create widespread public awareness of the use of plastics. If necessary, the operation will be conducted through a mobile court.