Using newspaper as packing material banned in Islamabad due to religious scriptures

While many religious scholars and health experts applauding the step taken by the state, people associated with small businesses show concern over it.

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ISLAMABAD: Using newspapers to pack material has been banned by ICTA (Islamabad Capital Territory Administration). This has been done so the holiness of religious scripts and names will be sustained.

As per a notice issued by Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, the ban has been imposed for two months.

‘’It has been brought to my knowledge that rough papers including newspapers having holy words/verses imprinted on them are being used by the traders for rapping up various commodities and are also being used for different ways for preserving the commodities’’ – the notification stated.

The notification further added that the grounds for imposing Section 144 are adequate to ban the using of papers, like newspapers for packing and conserving products in all forms.
The Deputy Commissioner also added that this step was taken while keeping holiness in view of religious words in view. The paper is thrown into the recycle bin after use, this is disrespectful to the holy script and words written on the newspaper.

Small vendors worried about alternatives:

While many religious scholars and health experts applauding the step taken by the state, people associated with businesses like ‘tandoor’ etc., weren’t fond of the new decision. Use of newspapers is common among food vendors and in dhabas to serve samosay, pakoray and rotis, etc. The consequences of using newspaper to wrap edibles can be serious. They have a negative impact on health and affect the environment in a bad way too.

‘’I know it is something wrong but after banning plastic bags in the city, vendors have no other option but to use paper for wrapping the material’’ – Sabir Hussain, a local, said.

Further on, Moeen Khan, a ragman, expressed his concern on the issue said that the ban will decrease his sales, that mostly consist of newspapers.

‘’My sales, which are mostly newspapers, will be affected and the cost at which I sell the papers to restaurants or roadside sellers will also go down’’ – Moeen Khan said.

Owner of a tandoor, Sardar Faheem said that rotis were wrapped in newspapers because they’re cost-effective and cheaper than other papers available in the market.
Dr. Irfan, a private practitioner, said that people consume food wrapped in the newspaper without giving it a second thought, ignoring the negative effect it can have on your health.

‘’Harmful chemicals like lead, cadmium besides inedible colors, pigments, binders, additives, preservatives, and graphite are absorbed by the food that is later consumed by people’’ – Dr. Irfan said.

‘’Such high lead levels in children can affect their IQ level, growth, and development. All other waste is excreted out from the body, but graphite keeps accumulating and can be hazardous for lungs and kidneys in the long run’’ – he further stated.

Religious scholar Maulana Abdul Razaq also applauded the initiative by ICTA and said that the same policy should be included in the education system.


Also See: Ban On Plastic Bags Imposed On All Airports Across Pakistan 

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