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volunteers remove plastic waste from st. martin to protect the environment
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environment Protection

Volunteers remove plastic waste from St. Martin to protect the environment

Volunteers remove plastic waste from St. Martin to protect the environment


Like every year, at the beginning of the tourist season, volunteers have removed 6,634 kg of plastic waste from St. Martin’s Island, a coral island in the Bay of Bengal.

For three consecutive days, a voluntary organization named Keokradong (Bandarban)

 ‘ led the collection of non-biodegradable garbage, including plastic bottles and packets, from various points of St. Martin’s beach.

Local volunteers of the organization said that every year, thousands of tourists visit the coral island of St. Martin and leave various types of plastic waste. Added to this are various polythene wastes used by the locals.

These non-biodegradable plastic wastes have threatened the life and nature of this small island. Just before the start of the tourist season, the voluntary organization Keokradong (Bangladesh) members are working to remove this plastic waste lying all over the beaches and localities of St. Martin.

Since 2010, Keokradong (Bangladesh) has conducted a clean-up campaign in collaboration with Coca-Cola Bangladesh as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Program held worldwide by the international organization Ocean Conservancy on the island of St. Martin every December since 2010. The Bangladesh Coordinating Voluntary Organization of Ocean Conservancy is Keokradong (Bangladesh).

The volunteers said these plastic wastes were filled in 205 sacks and brought from St. Martin to Teknaf. After that, Unilever received the waste from the representatives of Keokradong (Bangladesh), and Ipsa, the company implementing the plastic waste management project in Chattogram, Bangladesh.

The waste is brought to Chattogram by truck from there. First, the plastic separates into different types and is handed over to the recyclers located in Chattogram, and its recycling ensures.

Muntasir Mamun, Coordinator of Keokradong (Bangladesh), said, “Marine debris is a worldwide discussion topic. The main reason is the rate at which microplastics/microfibers or any plastic particles from marine debris mix with the marine environment or any environment.

Besides the presence of plastic in our food chain, plastic particles in the human body, blood, feces, and even breast milk. We have yet to be able to measure its severity fully.”

He also said that in Bangladesh, due to geographical reasons, the final destination of discarded plastic is any reservoir in most cases.

Moreover, if plastic is lefts on a small island like St. Martin, it will not limit the consequences to this island alone. It will spread into the Bay of Bengal. Our small effort was to limit that impact as much as we could.

Mujibur Rahman, Chairman of Saint Martin’s Union Parishad, said, “This initiative to keep Saint Martin clean is commendable. If everyone tries to come forward from their position,

it will be possible to succeed. In the future, hosting such a program in St. Martin would greatly benefit the island’s environment.”

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