Seminar on "Action Against Single Use Plastic" Held in BUP

Seminar on "Action Against Single Use Plastic" Held in BUP

13 Mar 2024

On March 13, 2024, a seminar on "Action Against Single Use Plastic" was held at Bijoy Auditorium of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) organized by the Department of Environmental Science (DES) under the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) in collaboration with Environmental Club of BUP (EnCBUP).

Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) served as the keynote speaker of this seminar. Respected Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) Brig Gen Md Mustafa Kamal, SGP and the Chairman of the Department of Environmental Science Associate Professor D. Shamsunnahar Khanam were present at the seminar. All the faculty members, officials, and students from the Department of Environmental Science along with all the members of the Environmental Club of BUP participated in this enlightening seminar.

Plastic pollution poses a dire threat to Bangladesh's environment, economy, and public health. Despite efforts to control its accumulation, plastic waste continues to suffocate our soil, waterways, and coastal ecosystems. Panel speakers Arifur Rahman Bhuiyan and Amit Hasan Anik along with our keynote speaker Syeda Rizwana Hasan highlighted the grave consequences of plastic waste and discussed the possible solution and its significance.

Assistant Professor Arifur Rahman Bhuiyan emphasized the fate of plastics in soil, outlining how plastics damage soil structure and quality by blocking pore spaces and depriving microbes of essential air leading to their death. Lecturer Amit Hasan Anik underscored the hydrodynamic forces that carry plastics into rivers, intensifying pollution levels and endangering aquatic ecosystems. Our keynote speaker Syeda Rezwana Hasan presented social, cultural, economical and legal aspects and statistics, revealing the significant challenges Bangladesh is facing in single use plastic management. She further highlighted the alarming levels of plastic waste in major rivers, emphasizing the need for sustainable solutions to mitigate environmental damage. Her main focus was on bringing an impactful change in the mindset of the mass consumers to reduce the use of single use plastic and bringing a shift towards a sustainable environment. The speaker called for a multi-faceted approach to tackle plastic pollution, including reducing plastic consumption, promoting alternative materials such as jute, implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies, and improving recycling infrastructure. She urged for greater governmental accountability and public awareness along with changing the mindset of consumers to combat this pressing issue.

During the open forum session, the speakers and the participants discussed the need for responsible consumerism, government accountability, and the importance of grassroots initiatives in driving changes. Lastly, our respected Dean Brig Gen Md Mustafa Kamal, SGP, underscored the importance of holistic approaches, grassroots mobilization, and youth activism in combating plastic pollution and fostering environmental stewardship. Furthermore, he emphasized the psychological aspects of behavioral change, advocating for proactive engagement from students at the Department of Environmental Science (DES) through various platforms such as social media, educational institutions, and government offices. He stressed the importance of bottom-up approaches and highlighted the pivotal role of youths in driving environmental initiatives forward.