BANNED: If you’re seen using a plastic bag in Islamabad, expect a heavy fine
Pakistan uses about 55 billion plastic bags every year.
- Federal Cabinet approves the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) to ban plastic bags in the federal capital.
- Islamabad will celebrate freedom from polythene bags on the independence day.
- Plastic bags affect 80% of the drains across the country.
- Pakistan uses about 55 billion plastic bags every year.
Federal Cabinet approved the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) has banned the use of plastic bags in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that the federal capital will celebrate freedom from polythene on 14th August, as they have become a menace for the society.
Addressing a press conference, he said that a similar ban has been previously enforced in 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2013 but failed to be any futile because of loopholes in the implementation process. However, this time the government is determined to put an end to the use of plastic bags. The effective ban will start from Islamabad and will be then expanded to the entire country.
Using plastic bags in Islamabad can cost you Rs 5000 to 5 million:
Aslam told that the use of plastic bags affects 80% of the drains across the country. It raises the chance for urban flooding and dire health consequences.
”Every city and village have the same issue where plastic bags are proliferating. It will remain in our ecosystem for 1,000 years as polythene bags do not decompose”, he added.
Speaking about the new legislation, Aslam said that it has been formulated after thoroughly studying the global models.
After the new implementation of new SRO, a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 500,000 will be levied at manufacturers of plastic bags, the traders of polythene or plastic bags would be fined Rs 10,000 to Rs 5 million while the people using them will have to pay a penalty of Rs 5000.
The fine amount has been kept higher to make people realize the consequences and the government’s seriousness in tackling the issue. Back in 1990, Pakistan was using 10 million bags per year. Now the figures have dramatically increased to 55 billion.
Every Pakistani uses 300 plastic bags every year:
The adviser told that every Pakistani uses 275 to 300 plastic bags every year. Now with a population of over 220 million, we can fairly estimate the magnitude of the problem. He said that global studies say if we fail to adopt effective measures banning the use of plastic bags, by 2050, we will have more plastic in oceans than fish.
To provide a more comprehensive solution to the problem, the ministry is offering alternatives in the form of cotton bags and recyclable, reusable polypropylene plastic bag. They are biodegradable and decomposable.
“The ministry has made 100,000 such bags which will be distributed free among the masses across the ICT.”
This measure is a step towards Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision towards a clean and green Pakistan. The Adviser added that they will also arrange a two weeks long awareness campaign in ICT to aware masses about the use of plastic bags and the threats posed by it.
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