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Tuesday,November 24,2020 23:46 PM

Consider ‘kaveera’ ban

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th January 2002 03:00 AM

BANGLADESH HAS banned the production and use of polythene shopping bags in the capital city, Dhaka.

BANGLADESH HAS banned the production and use of polythene shopping bags in the capital city, Dhaka.

BANGLADESH HAS banned the production and use of polythene shopping bags in the capital city, Dhaka. The new drive, launched by the government, is aimed at saving the environment in the crowded city where about 10 million ‘kaveera’ bags are used and dumped daily. The disposal of the bags is not in formally designated spots, with most of them ending up on the roads, back streets, open drains and watery ditches, with the result that sewers are clogged. This easily reads like the story of Kampala. Addressing the press this week, President Museveni decried the filth that polythene bags bring to our city, though it should not take only the presidential eye to appreciate the mess. Museveni is neither the first complainant and nor is Kampala the only affected place in Uganda. The use of ‘kaveera’ has long extended beyond the urban areas to the countryside, where domestic animals have fatally swallowed bags, and farming soils have been spoilt by material that is not biodegradable. But in Kampala, the problem seems to be particularly acute, and actually the ongoing work on the extensive Nakivubo Channel has dug up tonnes of polythene carelessly strewn over the years. There are two possible solutions. One is an outright ban, Bangladesh style, but that may be too drastic and unenforceable. The other would be in limiting ‘kaveera’ to say specific aspects of retail trade, or by making it prohibitively expensive through high taxes, while promoting alternatives. Both would call for alternatives like paper bag packaging and use of local materials like ‘bikapu’ (hand-woven baskets). Manufacturers can also look at recycling, which would require better garbage management. The options are many; the time is now.

Consider ‘kaveera’ ban

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