Plastic pollution has wreaked havoc in Bangladesh, adversely impacting its environment and communities. The pervasive use and improper disposal of plastic have led to widespread contamination of water bodies, soil, and air. The clogging of drainage systems exacerbates flooding during monsoons, posing threats to both urban and rural areas. Marine ecosystems suffer as well, with plastic waste endangering aquatic life. Health hazards arise as toxic substances from plastics leach into the environment. The cumulative effect is a severe ecological and public health crisis, demanding urgent measures to curb plastic pollution and safeguard Bangladesh’s delicate ecological balance.
To address this issue, Amal Foundation in collaboration with University of Portsmouth initiated a project named ‘Sustainable Transition to End Plastic Pollution – STEPP’. The objective of the project was to Finding out the current status of disposal practice of plastic and waste management, and understanding of plastic pollution in slum area of Sylhet City and to design art based awareness campaigns for people of slum areas and educate them on use of plastic in our everyday life, plastic waste management and environmental issues as well as their solutions. Under this project, Amal Foundation conducted different activities. The project was significantly divided into two phases that is –
- Perform a survey and
- Create awareness among people to motivate their action
In the first phase, around 100 people were surveyed to find out if they were aware of the plastic pollution and its impact and how they manage their wastes. The result showed 90.3% of the respondents are aware of the plastic pollution and its impact; and they are highly concerned with its appearance on the environment.
Additionally, the second phase was conducted to with a purpose for creating a mass awareness in Sylhet community through community engagement activities. In total, posters and leaflets were distributed on plastic pollution’s impact among 600 direct respondents. Furthermore, a drama performance regarding cause, effects and solution to plastic pollution was performed. The objective behind the street drama was to arouse the social consciousness of the plastic problem and highlight the effects on environment. The drama was performed by the local people and to conduct the event local population and drama club as well as students from Shahjalal University helped. The activities got much reactions from the local people.