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Bangladesh to ban use of single-use plastic in hotels and restaurants

High Court ordered government to exercise ban within a year to combat pollution

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Bangladesh's High Court ordered the government to ban single-use plastics in coastal areas and in hotels and restaurants within a year.

DHAKA - Planners heading to Bangladesh to organise meetings and events must note that there is an imminent ban of single-use plastics in hotels and restaurants, and around coastal areas in the country.

On Jan 6, Bangladesh's High Court ordered the government to ban single-use plastics in coastal areas and in hotels and restaurants within a year to combat pollution.

In 2002, the south Asian nation was among the first countries to ban the use of plastic and polythene bags in an effort to stop them collecting in waterways and on land - although the ban has had little success.

The court also ordered the government to strictly enforce the ban on polythene under the existing law, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, told reporters.

"We must curb the use of plastics," the lawyer said, adding it caused serious health hazards and environmental pollution.

Concerns are growing worldwide about plastic pollution, especially in oceans, where nearly 50% of single-use plastic products end up, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, studies have shown.

Worldwide, around 100 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, according to the United Nations. Scientists have found large amounts of micro plastic in the intestines of deep-dwelling ocean mammals such as whales.

Annually 87,000 tonnes of single-use plastics, including plastic bags, bottles, cups, plates and straws are thrown away in Bangladesh, according to a study by the Environment and Social Development Organisation.