Pakistan has taken action to ban the use of polythene bags in Islamabad commencing from independence day (14th August) so that the plastic pollution can go down a notch and the lives and climate affected by this non-degradable material. Instead, Pakistan has decided to use the Kenyan method of producing biodegradable shopping bags from plants that will help reduce the plastic pollution!
Adviser to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam claimed that the use of plastic bags is an extreme threat to the people pf Pakistan due to the extreme pollution caused by dumping of plastic on roadsides, rivers and other places. Food and water is contaminated by the plastic thrown away and due to this, the average Pakistani is consuming as much plastic as the size of a credit card. He also claimed that the Indus river is one of the most polluted rivers in the world due to plastic dumping.
Alongside plastic shopping bags, bags used for potato chips and other snacks are also pollutant. For this reason the companies have been advised by the government to recycle these bags, otherwise they will also be banned in the capital!
However, the minister for climate change Zartaj Gul has said this plastic ban is only for Islamabad and that under the 18th amendment, the provinces will have a choice whether or not to impose plastic ban in their regions. She said the legislation is limited to the federal territory only and that this will not result in the degradation of the industry and unemployment, rather this will give charge to a new industry that will produce alternative bags to the plastic bags.
At the same meeting, plastic representatives were also in attendance and they claimed that if the thickness of polythene bags increases from 15 to 50 microns will reduce their use and end pollution, due to the increase in the price of plastic bags. Also claiming that more trees will be cut down to make biodegradable bags which will also affect the climate and environment.
However, this legislation is confirm to be launched in the capital and this will result in a very positive reduction in plastic use!