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February 27, 2021

Role of schools, businesses against plastic bags highlighted

Islamabad

February 27, 2021

Islamabad : Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir on Friday called upon educational institutions and business community to join the government’s efforts to eliminate polythene bags in the country, which harm environment and public health in many ways.

“As long as people are not sensitised and warned of negative impacts of polythene bags on their health and environment and provided alternative bags in adequacy, they are unlikely to shun its use,” the state minister remarked on Friday in the context of the public awareness and sensitisation event held here at the upscale F-7 sector Markaz and Hafsar School in the capital city’s D-13 locality.

However, educational institutes and business communities should play their due part in making government’s anti-polythene bag drive successes by encouraging the masses to stop using polythene bags at all levels as responsible citizens, the state minister Zartaj Gul said.

She pointed out that various public awareness and outreach initiatives have been taken over last several weeks as a part of revival of the present government’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan and commitment towards banning of the polythene bags in its entirety.

“With enhanced understanding about devastating fallouts of the polythene bags on both environment and public health, we now hope people would respond to protect themselves and the environment then live in by cutting on use of the environmentally-damaging polythene bags,” Ms. Gul hoped.

The Ministry of Climate Change in support with the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency) Pak-EPA) Islamabad city administration and trade unions organised the events for engaging the educational institutes in the war on polythene bags.

“While these polythene bags are non-biodegradable, they take around a hundred year to decompose. And, not getting completely out of our environment, these lead to a lot of waste that keeps amassing over the years and remain in the land and water bodies, which contributes to soil and water pollution woes,” the state minister emphasised.

“Thus, initiatives have been ratcheted up to bring together and encourage all stakeholders including industrialists, representatives of businesses and trade organisations to back the incumbent government’s policy measures to rid our environment of plastic bags once for all,” Zartaj Gul remarked.

Since early last year, the Covid-19 virus has continued to hit the country, slowing down socio-economic activities, a period which unfortunately saw the return of the use of environmentally-devastating polythene bags with the plastic bag ban enforcement efforts gone into temporary hibernation.

Zartaj Gul highlighted that while now with efforts regarding ban on polythene bags revived again in the capital city, all stakeholders including public, manufacturers and sellers are being approached at all levels to bring the use of the polythene bags to a complete halt forever.