Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Plastic pollution, one of the biggest environmental concerns of our time

The recent decision of the government to reinforce the ban on plastic bags has triggered some interesting debates on social media. Many people still believe that plastic pollution can be addressed better through public education, not through policies or levies. But the experiences that we have got over the past 20 years tell us that these two should go together. When the ban on plastic bags was first introduced in 1999, there was no enough public awareness on the harmful effects of plastic wastes. As a result, the single-use plastic bags and other plastic products continued to appear in the market and litter our natural environment: polluting our soil, air and water. Of course, there was a time when we started getting Doma, meat and some other products wrapped in newspapers but with no proper public education and monitoring system in place, this initiative could not last long. Today, most of us are aware of the adverse impact of plastic wastes on our environment and health, but with no active policy in place, we have become complacent over the years.