Plastic shopping bag and plastic wrapping material has very short life of use and converted to waste, though it is very useful in our domestic life but as it is not decomposed it remain in the environment and pollute it. From Introduction to ban of plastic, this has already impacted the world. This was all started in 1933, PE plastic or polyethylene was created accidently in Northwich England, in the form of batches. Then it was secretly used by British military during the world war II.

Polythene bag was patented by Swedish company in 1965, designed by engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin. This plastic bag started replacing the cloth bag in Europe, after controlling 80% of the market in Europe by Plastic, it makes it journey to US in 1979 as to market their products and also superior to paper/cloth.

As this consumption was increased and its effects was not determined at that time, waste was mostly dumped in landfills or in oceans until in 1997, researcher and sailor Charles Moore found a great Garbage patch in Pacific Ocean, which was threating marine ecosystem mainly turtles, which mistakenly think that they are jelly fish and eat them.

This plastic not only was a simple waste problem; it was also becoming part of our food chain in the form of micro plastics. These micro plastics were formed by the presence of sunlight, wind and wave action convert this plastic into small particles, which are less than 1/5 of inch. These micro plastics are found in every corner of the world; it was also found that these micro plastics were also found in municipal drinking water.

Countries like Pakistan, most of the plastic products are produced for single purpose. It is estimated that more than 3.3 M tones of plastic waste is wasted each year and it ends in landfills or in the rivers which ultimately fall in Seas & oceans. Further to it, the plastic waste has the highest percentage of mismanagement in Pakistan as compared to other countries of South Asia. Several countries like Bangladesh ban the use of Plastic bags back in 2002. Pakistan is learning from these countries and also started banning plastic bags in major cities like Islamabad and Lahore.


It is dire need to implement such policies which emphasis on the recycling of the plastic so it causes less manufacturing of plastic. As like, PET bottles are no days used for cold drink storage further it can be used as water bottle, at this bottle is shredded to make PET flakes. These PET flakes are then used to make Polyester, which is major component of our textile industry.

Such initiatives should be taken and R&D should be promoted to recycle this plastic waste to develop raw material for other industries in this way waste load could be decreased to create sustainable environment.

About the Author: Meraj Ahsan Qureshi is a young motivated EHS official, who keeps an eye on environment health and safety issues. He aware the people and devises solutions for the problems.