Business community’s role key to riding society of polythene bags

January 21, 2022

Islamabad : A high-level review meeting on Implementation of Polythene Bags Regulations 2019 was held here on Thursday at the Ministry of Climate Change, which took stock of the state of efforts...

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Islamabad : A high-level review meeting on Implementation of Polythene Bags Regulations 2019 was held here on Thursday at the Ministry of Climate Change, which took stock of the state of efforts being taken to rid the capital city of the polythene bags’ use.

Chaired by Senior Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain of the ministry, the meeting was attended by senior officials of the Climate Change Ministry, Pak-EPA Islamabad, Capital Development Authority and representatives of industrial sectors.

The meeting participants agreed that use of polythene bags is a serious nuisance that pose grave risks to public health and environment and vowed to work hand-in-hand to eliminate its manufacturing, sale, purchase and use at all levels. The meeting highlighted that availability of the alternative bags in adequacy and at affordable prices, constant public awareness as well as sensitisation through print, electronic and social media are of paramount significance to weed out the polyethene bags’ use besides penalising/finding those elements involved in the environmentally-harmful bags manufacturing, sale, purchase and use.

The representatives of the business community suggested various measures during the meeting for getting rid of the polytene bags that damages the environment and has long become a major cause of the urban solid waste and blocking of urban drainage system that eventually leads to over-flowing of gutters and urban flooding during rainy seasons.

The Senior Joint Secretary Climate Change Ministry Syed Mujtaba Hussain, who is leading the implementation of the campaign against polythene bags, underlined importance of the business community’s role in freeing society of the polythene bags.

He noted that the Covid-19 virus that started hitting the country in early 2019 led to ongoing slowdown in socio-economic activities, a period which unfortunately has seen the return of the use of environmentally-devastating polythene bags with the plastic bag ban enforcement efforts gone into temporary hibernation. But now the enforcement activities are being increased to discourage use of polythene bags in Islamabad and its adjoining areas, the senior joint secretary said.

“Without active involvement of the business communities in the government’s war on polythene bags and their active support, efforts cannot hit success to eradicate polythene bags’ use in our society, which harm the environment and the public health in many ways,” the ministry official said while chairing the meeting.

Syed Mujtaba Hussain maintained further that while efforts were being stepped up again for stricter enforcement of ban on use, sale and manufacturing of polythene bags in the capital city and surrounding areas, it would be ensured that no one is being spared and fined when found violating the ban. He added that the ban enforcement teams alongwith officials of the Islamabad administration are already visiting time to time the market places, stores, malls, other public places and manufacturing sites in the capital for stern action and monitoring of implementation of the ban on polythene bags. Lauding the role of enforcement teams, the senior joint secretary added that without their untiring efforts, enforcement of the ban could not have been possible.

“It is encouraging to see enforcement teams ensuring implementation of the law in all forms and manifestations,” the Senior Ministry official Syed Mujtaba Hussain said, urging people to cooperate with the enforcement teams and ensure that neighbourhoods and businesses are free from the hazard of polythene bags that damaged both the environment along with the health of humans and animals.

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