Pakistani capital prepares ban against single-use plastic bags
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Each time someone in Pakistan runs out to the store for a carton of milk, a half-pound of loose sugar or an after-school snack, it comes in a flimsy plastic bag that usually gets thrown away.
If all those bags are added up, officials estimate, they total 55 billion a year, and many end up clogging city drains and sewers or piled up in vacant lots and parks and polluting canals and streams.
Now the government is about to take a drastic first step toward eliminating this public eyesore and environmental hazard. Beginning Wednesday, all single-use polyethylene bags will be banned in the capital region of about 1.5 million people. Anyone who uses, sells or manufactures them will face a fine: $31 for using a single bag; $63 for selling one; and up to $31,000 for manufacturing them.