PESHAWAR: With Ramazan about to begin, questions are being raised over the plastic bags which the government has procured and is promoting as environment-friendly.
Plastic and Bags Manufacturers Association (PBMA) President Nasim Wali Gul told an Express Forum that the Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic — D2W formula bags, which the government claimed was biodegradable, is not suited for recycling systems. He claimed that sources in the environmental department have declared the use of bags made from this material to actually cause pollution to double.
Gul added that the material previously used for making biodegradable shopping bags could be recycled if it did not degrade naturally quick enough. “In K-P, the plastic manufacturing companies support more than 5,000 families,” Gul stated as he expressed the fear that the D2W formula would increase pollution, unemployment and even lead to the closure of several industrial units.
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He added that in March, the K-P government had banned plastic shopping bags in the province. Instead, it had promoted bags made with the D2W formula. Gul argued that the compound had been banned by various countries around the world owing to its toxic interaction with food items. “But the K-P government is still pressing for it (D2W),” he added. The material needs to go through a specific disposal process for it to degrade naturally.
“The government is so adamant on it that they are registering cases against shop owners,” Gul said, adding, “We have also shared our reservations with government, but they have turned a deaf ear to our calls, while a few store owners are also behind bars.”
“We are helpless to follow government directives,” he conceded. “When the PTI-led government was about to take power, we were optimistic that a change will come and that we will be provided with the best business and working environment, but now they are pressing us to adopt unhealthy products which would take a toll on public health apart from ruining the environment” the PBMA president added.
“We demand the formation of a parliamentary committee to hear the concerns of the business community. We can prove that the K-P government’s policy would further increase pollution,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2019.