Pakistan

Government Bans Plastic Bag But We Might Already Be Consuming Plastic

Sindh Government has decided to ban polythene and plastic bags through out province in phases. The first phase ban has been imposed in district of Sukkur and will be implemented within three months, in the second phase a complete ban on non-degradable polythene bags in Karachi and Hyderabad regions and rest of Sindh would be implemented.

The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister  and was educated that normal plastic bag takes 400 to 1000 years to degrade. 12 billion to 43 billion bags were used in Pakistan in 1990-19. In 2005-6 the consumption rose to 43 billion and it increased to 55 billion in 2007-8. There is a 15 percent annual growth of the production of plastic bags, the estimated use of plastic bags in the country by 2018-19 would be 140 billion.

The government had decided to implement the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014 and its Section 14(3) stated that “no person shall import, manufacture, stockpile, trade, supply, distribute or sell any scheduled plastic product which is non-degradable”. Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the Minister Environment Taimore Talpur to discuss the matter with the traders as the ban would cause them severe loss.

The amount of plastic waste has been increasing about 10 percent each year for past 20 years and it’s a fact that every plastic bag ever produced still exist. Measures has also been initiated few years ago where instead of plastic bad, paper bags were introduced. Many Franchise like hyperstar and Bata use disposable or reusable bags.

Can we take a hint from foreign research about consuming plastic?

An Austrian team of researchers watched out for microplastics in the stool samples taken from eight people belonging to Finland, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

Huge amount of plastic is dumped into sea and is consumed by marine life. Most studies to date have only analysed the stomach and gut content of these organisms, which are usually removed prior to consumption but one study has found microplastics in fish liver, suggesting particles can get from digestive tissues to other body parts.Canned fish, sea salt had the most amount of microplastics.

Land animals also eat microplastics (a study of chickens raised in gardens in Mexico found an average of 10 microplastics per chicken gizzard).

The biggest known source of microplastics that we consume is bottled water. Single-use water bottles contained between two and 44 microplastics per litre, while returnable bottles (designed for collection under a deposit scheme) contained between 28 and 241 microplastics per litre. The microplastics came from the packaging, which means we could be exposing ourselves to more of them every time we fill up a plastic bottle in order to reduce waste.

Microplastics in food come from indoor dust. A recent study estimated that we could get an annual dose of almost 70,000 microplastics from the dust that settles on to our dinner – and that is only one of our daily meals.

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