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Tourists daily dump 3,000kg of plastic waste in Saint Martin's

About 3,000 kilogrammes of single-use plastic waste are dumped by tourists on the Saint Martin's Island of Cox's Bazar every day during the peak season, according to The Earth, a non-profit organisation working on community development and environment.

Around 3,500 to 4,000 tourists visit the island daily from October to March, but the number of visitors increases in the peak season from December to January, according to data from The Earth.

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The number of tourists has increased substantially in Saint Martin's Island and the native population to a large extent over the years, said Sinthia Tabassum, assistant programme manager of The Earth.

She revealed the data during a panel discussion on "Plastic Free Saint-Martin" at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre organised by the Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) on Wednesday.

On top of that, she said approximately 87,000 tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean through the coastal areas of Bangladesh annually.

Most of the wastes are thrown in the Padma, Jamuna, and Meghna rivers, which end up in the Bay, Tabassum said.

However, Tour Operators Association Bangladesh (TOAB) President Shibul Azam Koreshi said the average number of tourists will be around 2,000 per day.

"The number of tourists increases during the weekends in the peak season and sometimes it crosses 4,000. Otherwise, it hovers around 2,000," he said.