Plastic bags that are everywhere in our environment have become one of topical problems facing Tajikistan.  Therefore, the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan proposes to give up plastic bags.

“We have submitted our proposals for consideration to the government,” Magsadullo Mardonov, an official with the Committee for Environmental Protection, told reporters in Dushanbe on July 17.  

According to him, measures on refusing plastic bags will be taken step by step.

“Today, plastic debris has become an acute problem for Tajikistan.  It is good that plastic waste recycling workshops have opened in Tajikistan, but we have offered the government an alternative to plastic bags – use of paper and rag bags,” Mardonov noted.  

According him, it is not necessary to create any special conditions for production of paper and rag bags.  “Women could produce them at home-based workshops,” he added.  

Plastic bags are used because they are convenient.  However, the convenience of these plastic bags come at a very high cost to the environment and negatively affects human health.  Several cities globally have begun banning the use of plastic bags while some have enforced restricted laws against the use of plastic bags because of the negative effects of the use of their usage.

Besides, the use of plastic bags is considered as one of the great issues that humans are facing in their contemporary life. Cities such as China have banned the use of plastics. Bangladesh and India has only banned the use and sale of polythene bags which basically have thickness of less than 50 microns.

Plastic bags do not only pollute our water but also our land.  The plastic bags are made from non-renewable sources and on this account, highly contribute to climate change. 

Plastic bags do not degrade. In truth, petroleum based plastic bags never degrade. Instead of the plastic degrading, it is broken down into small tiny pieces which are swept down and end up in the oceans which are then consumed by wildlife.  Currently, there are approximately 46,000-1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of the globes oceans.

Plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and human health. 

Plastic bags are expensive and hard to clean or remove from the environment.  

The United Nations seeks a ban on single-use carrier bags as it reveals less than 10% of the plastic ever made has been recycled and countries aren't doing enough to curb pollution.

The UN study that was released on June 5, 2018, in particular, notes that less than a 10th of all the plastic ever made has been recycled, and governments should consider banning or taxing single-use bags or food containers.

It found that up to 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year.  Spread out side-by-side, they would cover an area twice the size of France.

More than sixty nations are now taking action to reduce plastic pollution, according to the report.

'If you can't reuse it, refuse it' is the slogan of the report, compiled by the UN alongside the Indian government and launched on June 5.

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in the report: 'The scourge of plastic has reached every corner of the Earth.'

However, policies to curb plastic waste in many nations have failed because of poor enforcement.

‘Only nine per cent of the nine billion tons of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled,' the report said.

'Most ends up in landfills, dumps or in the environment.'

China is reportedly the biggest source of plastic packaging waste, ahead of the European Union and the United States. 

Per capita, however, the United States produces most, ahead of Japan and the EU, according to the report. 

But there are signs of action to limit plastic pollution, which harms life in the oceans, contaminates soils and releases toxic chemicals when burnt.  More than 60 countries had bans or charges on single-use plastics such as bags or polystyrene containers.

Thirty percent of countries reportedly found sharp drops in plastic bag consumption in the first year after imposing restrictions, while 20 per cent saw little or no change.

In half of the cases, however, governments failed to gauge the effects of restrictions, the report said.

Among its recommendations, the report called for better sorting of waste and recycling, economic incentives to promote eco-friendly alternatives to plastics, education of consumers and promotion of reusable products.