The government of Punjab is introducing a new policy on plastic bags by incorporating reforms introduced by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
This was disclosed by Punjab Environment Minister Muhammad Rizwan at a seminar organized by the Environment Protection department in collaboration with NGO Agahee. The title of the seminar was “No Plastic Bags in Clean and Green Pakistan.”
Rizwan claimed that the issue regarding the material, size and thickness of plastic bags had been settled with the manufacturers’ association. However, the technical and scientific panel is also being formed for further recommendations.
The minister said that plastic bags pose a grave risk to the environment and human health. MPA Uzma Kardar, Chairman WASA Sheikh Imtiaz, CEO Agahee Mubarak Ali and other related persons also attended the seminar.
Chairman Judicial Commission, former Justice Ali Akbar said that the Lahore High Court banned the use of plastic bags at all megastores in the provincial metropolis and gave them a 15-day deadline to comply with the order and switch to alternative shopping bags.
Justice Shahid Karim said that Punjab government has been directed to introduce legislation on banning use, manufacture, and sale of polythene bags.
DG EPD Tanveer Waraich said that as per the latest research of local and international organizations, polythene bags were found to have been a cause of major environmental disasters. DG EPD said that it was pertinent to mention that the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Punjab, has already declared biodegradable plastic bags harmful for the environment.
He further said that decomposing bags sound environment-friendly but it requires a lot of energy and bags do not degrade in landfills and leave toxic leftovers.