In Bangladesh, the damage wrought by plastic is on display for all to see
The problem of plastic pollution has been persistent all over the world. Even though the disastrous effect plastic has on the environment is obvious, the fact remains that plastic is cheap and convenient for the average consumer. It is in the interest of many to keep the widespread usage of plastic alive, and so, attempts to curb it have been fairly ineffective.
It is time, however, to open our eyes and look at some hard facts, instead of downplaying and sugarcoating the damage of plastic. According to a report released by wildlife charity WWF, the pollution, emission, and clean-up costs of plastic in the world in 2019 alone could be a staggering $3.7 trillion. The lifetime costs inflicted on the world by plastic in 2019 alone add up to being higher than the GDP of India. In the big picture, then, plastic is anything but cheap.
Looking at these numbers, it becomes clear as ever that a major realignment of our priorities is needed: The 2019 figure, as grim as it is, could get worse in future years. Clearly, our current practices are not sustainable.
Bangladesh has made attempts in the past of curbing the use of plastic, by at first banning polythene bags. But in the years since then, the ban seems to have fallen by the wayside. Numbers aside, in Bangladesh, the damage wrought by plastic is on display for all to see: Plastic bags and bottles clog up our drainage system exacerbating flooding, causing untold misery to our city-dwellers, and this is but one example.
We must come to the realization -- on the policy level -- that plastic is not fantastic. The sooner we ditch it for greener alternatives, the better.