ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has lauded Sindh government’s efforts to ban non-biodegradable plastic shopping bag across the province, saying that the ban will yield benefits for the public health and help significantly tackle environmental degradation in the province.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, he said that the use of plastic shopping bags has emerged the gravest common environmental and health challenge for the country.
The prime minister’s advisor stressed the ban is a key step towards protecting environment and public health, as tackling this issue is vital to overcoming environmental degradation that costs billions of rupees annually to the national economy
The Sindh government notified last week a complete ban on the use, sale, purchase and manufacturing of bio-degradable plastic bags of all sizes across the province from October 1. The ban aims to overcome growing environmental and public health challenges arising out of the rampant use of plastic bags.
He emphasised that implementing the ban across the province will be a serious test for the provincial government. He said there is also a need that the provincial government introducing and promote alternative bags made of fabric and other degradable and environmental-friendly materials.
The provincial government can better benefit by engaging various civil society organizations that offer various viable solutions to plastic bags, the prime minister’s advisor suggests.
He also urged other provinces to follow the suit of federal and Sindh provincial governments to get the country completely free of plastic bags for protecting public and environmental health from negative impacts of the plastic bag uses.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has already announced to ban plastic bags in the province. The federal government took a bold initiative to ban plastic bag use at all levels and created a replicable model for other provincial governments to follow.
Pakistan has finally entered the ever-growing club of countries that are taking the threat of plastic pollution seriously by imposing a blanket ban on the use of polythene shopping bags in Islamabad since August 14 this year,
Environmental Protection Agency of the Ministry of Climate Change Secretary Hassan Nasir Jami said that the ban of plastic bag use will hugely help tackle growing solid waste management problem in the country.
He said discarded and used plastic bag constitute a major portion of the overall solid waste generated across the country and the problem is now a graver challenge.
He explained that low-waste collection and recycling rates make the problem of waste plastic more visible, requiring huge budgetary allocations for governments to manage solid waste in scientifically and environmentally-safe manners, and banning plastic bags use was the way forward.