Dhaka awash with plas­tic-coated posters

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Dhaka, Bangladesh - Dhaka is awash with mil­lions of plas­ti­clam­i­nated cam­paign posters ahead of elec­tions in the Bangladesh­i cap­i­tal, and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists are up in arms.

Th­ese posters - of which there are an es­ti­mated 304mn - will likely end up in sew­ers, rivers and canals, says ac­tivist Sharif Jamil.

“If they are burnt, they will pol­lute the air,” he adds.

The city’s air qual­ity has been ranked one of the worst in the world.

“The posters will take 400 years to de­com­pose,” says Jamil, who is gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Bangladesh En­vi­ron­ment Move­ment, a cam­paign group.

Each con­tains about two grammes of polypropy­lene plas­tic, ac­cord­ing to the En­vi­ron­ment and So­cial Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ESDO). Spokesman Hos­sain Shahriar said the plas­tics were non-biodegrad­able and non-re­cy­clable.

“We will be chok­ing un­der th­ese plas­tics since we don’t have proper re­cy­cling mech­a­nisms in the city,” he said.

Bangladesh’s High Court last week or­dered a halt to the pro­duc­tion, dis­play and dis­posal of plas­tic-lam­i­nated posters for the may­oral and coun­cil elec­tions.

But to no avail. Black-and­white posters con­tinue to fes­toon the streets and parks of the con­gested, ca­cophonous me­trop­o­lis of 18mn people.

Man­jur Hos­sain, head of Dhaka City Cor­po­ra­tion’s waste man­age­ment depart­ment, said they would deal with the waste af­ter the polls.

“We will separately man­age it,” he said.


A street adorned with elec­tion posters lam­i­nated with plas­tic, in Dhaka on Wed­nes­day

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