DHAKA: Bangladesh's High Court on Monday (Jan 6) ordered the government to ban single-use plastics in coastal areas and in hotels and restaurants in one year to combat pollution.

In 2002, the south Asian nation was among the first countries to ban the use of plastic and polythene bags in an effort to stop them collecting in waterways and on land – although the ban has had little success.

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The court also ordered the government to strictly enforce the ban on polythene under the existing law, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, told reporters.

"We must curb the use of plastics," the lawyer said, adding it caused serious health hazards and environmental pollution.

Concerns are growing worldwide about plastic pollution, especially in oceans, where nearly 50 per cent of single-use plastic products end up, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, studies have shown.

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