The Bangladeshi government is to ban the manufacture and use of polythene bags in the country's capital from 1 January 2002 in an attempt to halt environmental damage. On Saturday, Forest and Environment Minister Shahjahan Siraj told the Forum of Environment Journalists of Bangladesh (FEJB) that the "manufacture and use of polythene-made shopping bags will be banned initially in Dhaka city and then across the country in phases. In the second phase, the ban will imposed in other major cities."