Mirpur khas: Use of plastic or polythene bags, the wonder material of the 20th century, has now become a potential threat to the environment, down playing its short-lived benefits for the people. Polythene bags commonly known as `shoppers’, these plastic bags are available in all sizes, shapes and colours and because of their lightweight, flexibility and low cost they are used and cast off freely. The black bags are considered more dangerous to the environment as compared to white bags, because when polythene bags are recycled they are given a black colour and these kinds of bags are completely non-degradable. Talking to the Daily Times Correspondent, Dr Dileep Kumar Thanwrani, said that polythene bag is basically a petroleum product as it is manufactured through the use of crude oil. He said when any hot food stuff is packed in the polythene bag it is likely to catch particles generally considered one of the major causes for fatal diseases like cancer. Dr. Dileep Thanwrani pointed out that a polythene bag is a non-degradable item as it can survive for even a million years. Dr Mukesh Kumar, Head of SK Foundation Hospital Mirpurkhas said the manufacturers are mostly using wastage for manufacturing of polythene bags and there are also reports that hospital waste is also being used for this purpose. “The colourful polythene bags being imported from China are mainly manufactured by the industrial waste and these are highly dangerous for human life and environment as well,” he said. Dr. Sehrish Memon a leading skin specialist said the issue of usage of polythene bags has been resolved in Bangladesh as the government has provided small machines to thousands of people who produce jute-made clothes, blankets, bags and other material, saying goodbye to the use of plastic. Dr Sehrish Memon claimed that the health indicators in some aspects in Pakistan are showing negative trends even “If we compare them with that in Ethiopia.” She said given the complex nature of the problem, it is imperative that the government focus on developing alternatives, and use a multi-pronged approach with the involvement of all stakeholders.