The government’s decision to ban the use of plastic bags in Islamabad has been challenged in court.
On Monday, Islamabad High Court (IHC) received petitions from several citizens demanding the court to overturn the government’s decision.
The petitioners have argued that thousands of people lost their jobs because of the ban. Polythene bags are being used in various countries around the world, they said.
People associated with the plastic industry have sought more time from the court to start manufacturing biodegradable bags, and want the court to declare the ban null and void. They have named the Ministries of Law and Climate Change respondents in the case.
It should be noted that the city administration had announced in May that they are going to ban plastic bags by August 14. The administration had asked manufacturers to shift to biodegradable bags.
Now, there is a penalty of Rs. 50,000 on anyone found manufacturing, importing, or wholesaling plastic bags. Habitual offenders will have to pay up to Rs. 500,000.
Similarly, any shopkeeper or hawker found violating the regulation would be fined Rs. 10,000 for the first offense. This may rise up to Rs. 50,000 for repeated violations.
Days after the ban came into effect, special teams of the Ministry of Climate Change raided different markets of the capital and confiscated as many as 2.5 million polythene bags. People found using plastic bags were fined accordingly.