Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Assoc. v. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and others, Writ Petition No. 14941 of 2019 (20 January 2020)
Supreme Court of Bangladesh - High Court Division
In response to a petition filed by the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court) issued a Rule Nisi compelling the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and others “to show cause as to why their failure/inaction in enforcing the existing legal ban on polythene/plastic bags . . . and regulating hazardous Single-use Plastics as required under [existing law] . . . should not be declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect and why the respondents should not be directed to adopt and implement a time-bound action plan to introduce safe alternatives to polythene/plastic bags and to phase out Single-use Plastic items from the country by 31st December, 2022.”
In the meantime, in order to address the current situation, the Court ordered respondents to strictly enforce the existing plastic bag ban “through regular market monitoring, shutting down of the polythene manufacturing factories and seizure of machinery.” Additionally, the Court ordered the government to institute a ban on single-use plastic in coastal areas and in all hotels, motels and restaurants within a year and report on compliance to the court.