Ministry of Climate Change has decided to recycle the plastic bags confiscated after a ban was imposed on August 14, 2019.
Reports suggest that those plastic bags will be utilized to make 1,000 flowerpots, waste bins, and furniture. Products made out of these bags will be placed in hospitals, schools, and other government institutions in Islamabad.
Since August 14, teams from the ministry have impounded more than 2,100 kg of plastic bags and fined Rs. 1.2 million. The Climate Change Ministry had constituted four implementation teams to ensure the ban is observed throughout the capital.
Wholesalers can be fined up to Rs. 100,000, shopkeepers Rs. 10,000, and households Rs. 5,000 for first-time violations. The fine gets multiplied with the number of violations.
Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) work alongside with the implementation teams to enforce the ban on the usage of plastic bags in Islamabad.
Mohammad Saleem, the spokesperson for the Climate Change Ministry, says that this is not a new practice as products made from recycled plastic are readily available everywhere.
It is nothing new. Furniture and other home products made from recycled plastic bottles and other kinds of plastics are already available in the market. This initiative is among several plans proposed by the adviser to the prime minister on climate change and the Clean and Green Pakistan project.
Ministry of Climate Change claims that the ban on the use of plastic bags in Islamabad has been enforced up to 80%. Despite the ban, some shopkeepers in Islamabad continue to use single-use plastic bags to package goods. On the other hand, many retailers are using oxy-biodegradable plastic bags, believed to more harmful than ordinary plastic bags.
Director-General Pak-EPA, Farzana Altaf Shah, says that oxy-biodegradable plastic bags decompose into small injurious particles that can cause health problems.