PR No. 56 Federal Environmental Protection Agency presented report on the “Prohibition of Non-Biodegradable Plastic Products Regulation” in Islamabad. Islamabad

A meeting was held at Ministry of Climate Change chaired by Federal Secretary Syed Abu Ahmed Akif .The Director General Federal Environmental Protection Agency Ms. Farzana Altaf presented progress report to Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Syed Abu Ahmed Akif on non-biodegradable plastic products regulation in Islamabad.

Ms. Farzana Altaf told the participants that Pak-EPA notified the regulation “the prohibition of Non-biodegradable Plastic Products that includes manufacturing, sale and usage. The strategy to implement this regulation included availability of degradable plastic bags, awareness among the stakeholders/consumers of Islamabad through National Newspapers, internal and external meetings with traders association. The letters were also issues to Capital Development Authority and ICT Management for implementation. The strategy also includes enforcement as per Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997.The four firms have been registered and issued approval for import of additives to be used in manufacturing of Bio-degradable plastic bags Simmpexo- kharachi, Business dynamic Lahore, ACC Polymer- Lahore and Trivsal (Pvt_-Lahore)

In this regard, public notices have been published in newspapers .The letters along with published notice in the newspapers regarding the prohibition of non-degradable shopping bags were sent to 46 big stores/shops for immediate implementation of said regulations. On February 3,2017, during the site of Metro Cash & Carry Islamabad, the violation of said regulation was found therefore the Metro Cash & Carry Islamabad was sealed till the submission of compliance report of Metro Cash & Carry was revisited to ensure the status of the compliance of previous orders of this agency. On, February 13to February 17,2017,the site inspection visits of services Shoes, Bata, Outfitters, Bareeze, Al Fateh Department Store and Punjab Cash  & Carry of Islamabad was conducted to ensure the compliance of the regulation. The official of Pak-EPA visited different markets to ensure the compliance of this regulation. The meetings with trade associations were held to ensure implementation of this regulation.

It was also informed that future strategy of Pak-EPA would be routine monitoring visits of the store/outlets/shops of Islamabad to ensure compliance of regulation. On non-compliance, legal orders shall be taken against the non-compliance stores/outlets/shops.

The Secretary of Ministry of Climate Change Syed Abu Ahmed Akif appreciated the efforts of Pak-EPA and put emphasis on complete implementation of this regulation.

The plastic bags have various negative environmental, health and social impacts. The plastic bags reduce rainwater-percolating rate, deteriorates soil fertility, as they become part of manure. The bag and filler material of bag contaminate foodstuff at high temperature. The burning of plastic bags at low temperature generates dioxin and furan, which are carcinogenic substance. The littering of plastic bags gives ugly looks to cities. About 160,000people directly and 60,000 people indirectly are involved in the plastic bags business.