Clean and Green: Islamabad to become plastic-free

plastic bag-free

News Desk |

Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change has announced plans to make Islamabad a plastic bag-free city by August 2019, local press reported. Minister for Climate Change, PTI’s Zartaj Gul Wazir, announced this during a recent National Assembly session while sharing the government’s plans to ban single-use plastic bags or ‘shoppers’ in Islamabad by Pakistan’s Independence Day on August 14, 2019.

‘The blanket ban on plastic will begin from the Ministry of Climate Change and government departments where a ban on single-use plastic bags and bottles would be introduced. The ministry has sourced around 5,000 cotton bags for distribution among officials, parliamentarians and federal government employees to appraise them about the hazards of plastic pollution and discourage the excessive use of plastic bags. These cotton bags will also be distributed free of cost in weekly markets across the city’, the Minister said.

The ban had been imposed on recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Karakoram Area Development Organization.

According to a study, about 8 million tonnes of plastics are deliberately dumped into the oceans globally. It is estimated that food wrappers and containers produce 31.15% of pollution in the environment. Bottles and containers cap contributes to 15.5% of pollution. Plastic bags cause 11.18% environmental pollution, straw and stirrers produce 8.13%, beverage bottles cause 7.27% pollution in the environment.

Since 1967, global plastic production has increased from two million tonnes to 380 million tonnes, almost three times faster than the world’s GDP. Since 1950, the world has produced 9 billion tonnes of plastic waste. Of that only 9% has been recycled and another 12% incinerated. The rest of the waste was either dumped into landfills or emptied into the natural environment.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, had earlier announced that the ministry of climate change would announce the schedule for plastic-free Federal capital within 10 days. He had said that a comprehensive framework had been developed which would help reduce plastic pollution by phasing them out and single time use plastic in the capital territory.

Read more: Ban on plastic bags across cities in Pakistan

“We have a very good model for integrating provinces in this initiative where inclusive and uniform progress will be enabled in this regard,” the Adviser added.

In April, the use of plastic shopping bags had been banned in Hunza. The administration of Hunza district directed traders to use up all present stock of shopping bags by April 20. “Plastic bags are detrimental to the natural environment and human health,” a district administration circular stated. “All the traders dealing in plastic bags should end their stock by April 20.”

It will be considered an offence to make, use, purchase, export or import plastic bags, according to the district administration’s statement.

Read more: Plastic warms the planet twice as much as aviation: What could…

The ban had been imposed on recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Karakoram Area Development Organization.

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