Another day off in Cox’s Bazar.
Like in so many other countries, one of the unsolved challenges of Bangladesh is waste, rubbish.
People are just not aware of the problems of throwing away plastics randomly in the streets, at the beach or off the ferry.
When we returned from St. Martin a couple of days ago we wittnessed just that. At some point of the journey someone started feeding seagulls with potato crackers and biscuits. Soon many families were following suit. Seeing that was weird enough, in a country were by far not everyone has enough food every day. And then people, children and grown-ups alike, threw the empty plastic wrappings over board as well.
This unawareness is so horribly common in ‘these’ countries. I’m not sure if it is a lack of knowledge about the implications, or an I-don’t-care mentality, or what?
I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt here. I believe ‘they’ are victims of the West’s commercial interests. ‘We’ are not interested in educating about the risks of our exports. We just ship the cheap sh!t here and let the others deal with the rubbish. ‘We’ includes the Chinese here, too. For example, they sell apples to Bangladesh, which you can buy on any market. And each and every single apple is wrapped in one of these styrofoam protective net things (difficult to describe… I’ve added a picture below.) which then clutter the streets around the market and end up I-don’t-know-where. (Well, I’m sure in the end they’re either burned or end up in some ‘landfill’, which is usually just some river bank.)
We had some biscuits the other day. Not only were the six(!) of them wrapped in an enormous amount of plastic, but they also tasted weird. A bit like soap? No, glue. Like plastic and glue. Not very charming at all and certainly not healthy.
A few days ago I found the same ugly ‘background taste’ in the chicken I had for dinner. It must have been wrapped in some kind of plastic wrapping for transport. Isn’t that lovely.
From now on, I’ll happily opt for the ‘local’ chicken that is on some menus.
Were is ‘our’ export in this example, you may wonder? Cheap technology and ‘cheap’ knowledge that creates unhealthy sh!t with the least possible effort.
Oh, and I’ve seen people spray pesticides, here, too. With hand pumps and without masks.
Of course, this export mentality already fires back, and will do so even more in the future.
So many things go wrong here, and on so many levels…