Plastic bag sellers, users to be fined after Aug 14

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Islamabad (9Newshd): As the sale and use of polythene bags will be banned in Islamabad from August 14, the district administration and Pakistan-Environmental Protection Agency will fine the ban violators.

Under the Statutory Regulatory Order, Rs100,000-Rs 500,000 fine will be imposed on plastic bag manufacturers and wholesalers each, Rs10,000-Rs 50,000 on shopkeepers each and Rs5000 on those carrying such bags each.

This was disclosed during a meeting held regarding the ban of polythene shopping bags (plastic bags) here at the Ministry of Climate Change in which senior officials from the Ministry of Climate Change, EPA and ICT participated.

Adviser to Prime Minister Federal Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said Pakistan’s toxic love affair with the plastic bag has to end and after 14th August no plastic bags would be tolerated.

He said banning plastic bags in the federal capital was public interest litigation and it would only be effective with public cooperation.

The adviser directed the ICT and PAK-EPA officials to chalk out a plan regarding the distribution of alternative bags and dissemination of information regarding their availability.

The officials said out of all the plastic materials, polythene had been targeted being non-recyclable and hazardous to the environment.

The climate change secretary said each importer or distributor of such plastic bags had been directed to devise a plant or unit for collection and recycling of plastic bags.

“This would be the producer’s responsibility to handle the post-consumer stage. Only exceptions include industrial packaging, municipal waste, hospital waste, and hazardous waste.

“Exception criteria are very strict and based on the principle of product integrity and unavailability of alternative packaging material. Moreover, there is a system of labeling and record-keeping in place in order to record importer or manufactures identify and percentage of recycled content,” he said.

The secretary said a media campaign would last until August 24 while 110,000 alternative material bags would be distributed in various ministries and at general public bazaars.

The meeting was attended by the Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Hammad Shamimi and Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Hamza Shafqat. For more latest news Pakistan, visit 9newshd.tv

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