With the advancement of time the use of micro plastics in personal and home care products have greatly increased worldwide. As a developing country, Bangladesh is also adopting this trend to cope up with other countries. Cosmetics and home care product industries are expanding at a large scale and these products contain substantially high amount of plastic, specially micro plastic and microbeads. With the increasing use of these products the rate of disposal has also increased but unfortunately the ultimate fate of these products in Bangladesh are drains, ponds, lakes, rivers and the sea.
Evidence have been found that microplastic causes serious health and environmental hazards. But it is a matter of great regret that consumers in Bangladesh are not aware of the widespread use and the polluting impact of microplastic and other single use plastics (mini pack, sachets and plastic tube packaging). Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO has started the project based on ESDO’s initial research with a view to reducing or eliminating the negative environmental impacts of Microbeads and single use plastics entering Bangladesh Waterways that ends up into the Bay of Bengal.
There are three major tasks of this project, namely country situation analyses and extensive research, awareness raising campaigns and policy advocacy to get an ultimate regulation to ban microplastics. ESDO will deepen our own knowledge of the problem by in-depth study and conduct survey. The project will inform and educate consumers, wholesalers and producers about the health and environmental impact of micro plastics. The awareness raising activities include school awareness program, mobile campaign, sms (short message service) campaign, social media campaign. ESDO will mobilize and inform public to act as a ‘pressure group’ and demand safe options in personal care products and protection of the Bay of Bengal from microplastic litters. The project activity plan of ESDO also includes- initiating dialogues with multinational companies and SMEs to redesign their products, arranging several seminars, workshops and high level policy meetings to draw the attention of policy makers/decision makers on this unaddressed issue and opt for alignment in policies ( environment policy, industry policy) and formulating appropriate regulation and make sure it works effectively. In addition ESDO will also coordinate with CSOs in countries bordering the Bay of Bengal.
ESDO succeeded with the disposable plastic bag issue earlier in 2001 with a regulation banning plastic bags. So we are hoping to achieve great success in this issue also. Another important fact is that, Bangladesh is mainly the importer of microbeads containing products, not the producer. It will be more easy for importers and retailers to quit microbeads containing product selling. Moreover community education will accelerate the overall process of avoiding use of microbeads or micro plastics in products. ESDO is hoping to get a regulation on the ban of micro plastic use in Bangladesh