11 global, 33 local parent companies are among the major plastic polluters in Bangladesh, claims a new study disclosed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Pran RFL Ltd. Nestlé and Unilever have been Bangladesh's largest plastic polluters for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Environmental and Social Development Organization (ESDO) Branding Audit Report.
The report titled "Bitter Truth of Plastic Pollution" was made public on Tuesday as part of a virtual information session.
This year, ESDO conducted the Brand Audit - an initiative of measuring the number of different brands that can be found on plastic waste across the country, for three consecutive days in Dhaka and Mymensingh City.
They collected 19,963 pieces of plastic wastes with a total weight of 132 kg and identified majorly 11 International and 33 local parent companies producing near about 200 brands.
The brands included Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever, Perfetti Van Melle, Bombay sweets and Co. Ltd, Pran RFL Ltd, Square Foods and Beverage Ltd, Akij Group, Meghna Group of Industries, and so on.
The session was chaired by the former secretary and ESDO Chairperson Syed Marghub Murshed.
“For the fourth year in a row, the top plastic polluters have been the same large companies. These companies keep claiming that they are moving forwards to an eco-friendly system but the truth is that they are still investing in false solutions. They must stop using single-use plastic packaging to prevent plastic pollution” said Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, Chief technical Advisor of ESDO.
Siddika Sultana said that from plastic packaging, chemicals such as dioxins released into the water and food that can cause endocrine disruption, which can lead to cancer, birth defects, immune system issues, and developmental problems in children.
The brand audit tool is designed by Break Free from Plastic (BFFP) Global movement.
The brand audit is mainly done to promote mass awareness and also for the manufacturers on safeguarding the environment from the harmful consequences of using single use plastics.
Shamin Ahmed, President, Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufactures and Exporters Association, Nazmul Hassan, President, Bangladesh Pet Flakes Manufactures and Exporters Association, spoke among others at the event.