In an effort to raise further awareness about the ban on using plastic bags in the capital, the campaign has now been extended to government institutions as well.
This was stated by Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir while addressing the media on Wednesday,
The minister explained that like any other segments of society, government employees were being approached and sensitised and being made aware of the potential threat to the environment and ecosystem from the use of plastic bags. "Sensitisation of one person regarding deleterious aftermaths of the polythene bags is in fact sensitisation of the entire household, she stressed
Gul further said that a similar campaign to this effect was carried out in Prime Minister Imran Khan's office.
The state minister also told the media that while all political leaders sitting in both upper and lower houses of the parliament have lauded the incumbent government's anti-polythene bag campaign, the public awareness and outreach activities would now be initiated in the Senate and the National Assembly, too.
She said the chairman and the deputy chairman of the Senate as well as the speaker and the deputy speaker of the National Assembly would be approached and sensitised on deleterious impacts of using polythene bags. She said they will be urged to motivate MNAs and senators to play their part in making not only the capital city but also their own political constituencies.
She added that without the efforts of the Pak-EPA Islamabad, the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and the Islamabad police, the polythene bag ban could not have been possible.
"I deeply feel motivated witnessing the enforcement teams ensuring implementation of the law regarding ban on polythene bags in all forms and manifestations despite serious resistance from various quarters including some errant traders, shoppers and customers."
Public awareness and outreach activities in all the federal government organisations are being carried out by the climate change ministry as a part of the present government's vision for Clean Green Pakistan and commitment towards the campaign, she added.
Ministry of Climate Change Senior Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain, who is leading the campaign on the implementation of the ban on polythene bags, recalled that prior to the launch of public awareness and sensitisation activities for the federal government employees, an official letter was sent to the federal government institutions this year on March 9 through which support of all ministries, divisions and their attached departments for making this ban on polythene bags effective.
"Anyone who is found using, selling or manufacturing the polythene bags would face severe action in the shape of fines," he warned.
A day ago, while talking to the media, an official of the environment watchdog said the ban on plastic bags was being strictly enforced. She said citizens found carrying plastic bags were also being fined along with shopkeepers, vendors, retailers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
She added that as per the law, a common user was being fined Rs5,000, retailers Rs10,000 and manufacturers Rs100,000. The fine would be doubled in case of repeated violations, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2021.
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