Victory Over Single-Use Plastic in Bangladesh


Thousands of tons of single-use plastic are thrown away in Bangladesh every year, with countless plastic bags, bottles, cups, plates and straws making their way into the ocean. ELAW partner Syeda Rizwana Hasan and the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) are making real progress reining in this plastic peril.
Last week, Rizwana and her legal team won a High Court order banning single-use plastic in hotels and restaurants. The Court also ordered the government to strictly enforce a current polythene ban. Scientists in Bangladesh report that plastic is having toxic effects on human health and posing serious environmental hazards.
In December, Rizwana filed a petition to the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on behalf of BELA and 12 other organizations. The petition called for enforcement of an existing ban on polythene/plastic bags, and banning within six months the carrying, selling, use, and marketing of polythene/plastic bags and single-use plastics in coastal areas. It also called for a ban on the use of single-use plastic in all hotels, motels, and restaurants in Bangladesh.
ELAW’s law and science teams collaborated with BELA and provided peer-reviewed literature to strengthen the argument that plastic waste is causing harm in Bangladesh.
“ELAW support helped us present the facts more convincingly, particularly with regard to legal restrictions on single-use plastic in other countries,” said Rizwana. “The facts and figures from a wide range of global sources on how our oceans are being chocked with plastic was invaluable.”
Congratulations Rizwana and the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association. You are an inspiration to ELAW partners around the world who are working to protect the planet from plastic waste.
Find more information here about ELAW’s work taking on the plastic peril.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide