A High Court ruling in Bangladesh has ordered the government to indorse a ban on single-use plastics in coastal areas and in hotels and restaurants within one year.
It urges the government to strictly enforce the ban under the existing law.
The ruling follows a landmark case brought by environmental groups.
“We must curb the use of plastics,” said Rizwana Hasan, a senior environmental lawyer.
“The high court has directed the government to prohibit the use of single-use plastic items in hotels, motels and restaurants within a year. It has also been directed to make all coastal areas free of polythene bags and single-use plastic items within the same period.”
In 2002 Bangladesh became one of the first countries to prohibit polythene bags, but it hasn’t been a success due to a lack of enforcement, partly because of lobbying by plastic bag manufacturers.
It is unclear whether it will prove more successful this time, but Hasan called it ‘an important step.’
About 87,000 tons of single-use plastics are dumped annually in Bangladesh, according to a study by the Environment and Social Development Organization.