Plastic packaging and environment risks.


Byline: Muhammad Nadeem Malik

Plastic packaging is a subject of scrutiny these days and there has been a series of discussions on its viability for the environment and ecosystemstability. Our country Pakistan is not an exception to this problem of plastic shopper bags. We use 55 billion shopper bags annually. These polyethene shopper bags are very light in weight and discarded after one use due to their poor quality. These discarded polyethene shopper bagscan't stand the winds and keep on flying until they reach some water reservoir or face rain and are dumped into the sewerage line choking sewerage system or litter the rivers or ocean endangering the life of water animals.

Federal and provincial governments of Pakistan are showing their seriousness to resolve this issue and have banned the use of polyethene shopper bags. As such, the Government of Pakistan has become 128thcountry to join hands with the global community to ban single use polyethene bags. This is a welcome step and should be appreciated being environment friendly.

Packaging is an important element and ensures the safe delivery of the products from factory to the customers. It helps the producer to brand its product and label it with the necessary information helpful for the customers to identify its product in the competition. As packaging is must for the intact delivery, consumption and use of the product, no business can afford to avoid packaging. However, despite having a myriad of benefits, the packaging material, if not opted carefully, can be harmful for the environment and even its reuse can be health hazard for the common people. It is a responsibility of the producers, packing their product, to ensure that they are using the right packaging material, which is not a threat to the ecosystem and is not hazardous in any way.

As most of these environment hazards are associated with use of the plastic shopper bags choking the sewerage and littering the oceans, the solution that is being practiced and encouraged throughout the world is prohibition on the use of single use plastic bags. UN report suggests more than 120 countries had introduced bans and/or levies on single-use plastic items.

The use of plastics for making various products including packaging material have transformed everyday life. The usage of plastic is increasing and annual global production is around 400 million tons. The use of plastic have bestowed various benefits for the society and the business...

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