Punjab to ban plastic bags

Decision aimed at protecting public health, reducing pollution

Our Correspondent April 20, 2024
Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturers Association has proposed mandatory printing of codes on plastic bags and code reader machines on production lines—a move it claims can increase the formal economy by 20%. Photo: afp


Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has endorsed a ban on plastic bags in the province with effect from June 5.

The decision is a part of a ‘No to plastic’ campaign set to be launched on the Earth Day that is observed on April 22. The day will be celebrated widely in the districts throughout Punjab.

During a meeting on environment-friendly initiatives led by the CM, Senior Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb highlighted the campaign's objective to enhance public awareness regarding the severe health risks associated with plastic pollution.

She stressed the urgency of banning the production, distribution and use of polythene bags, citing their detrimental environmental impact and contribution to respiratory ailments and other life-threatening conditions.

It was resolved that the department heads and deputy commissioners would ensure strict enforcement of the ban on plastic bags.

Educational institutions will organise lectures and workshops to educate the people about the health hazards of plastic. An awareness campaign will be launched on Earth Day through the mass and social media.

The senior minister appealed to the citizens to switch to cloth and paper bags as alternatives to plastic, emphasising their role in disease prevention.

She urged business, shopping mall, restaurant and bakery owners to participate in the campaign for promoting public health and reducing pollution.

She also advised against the use of plastic bags and containers for food and beverages at home to safeguard personal health.

The senior minister emphasised the need for citizens’ cooperation for the campaign's success. She reiterated that there would be a complete ban on plastic bags from June 5 as per the chief minister's directive.

Besides Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, all deputy commissioners attended the meeting via video link.

Cards for differently-abled

Presiding over a meeting, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz called for the compilation of authentic data of people with special needs in the province.

She announced that ‘Himmat’ and ‘Nigehban’ cards would be siisued for differently-abled persons under the Baitul Mal.

The chief minister also announced a plan to launch a loan scheme of Rs100,000 to Rs200,00 each for the persons with disabilities who are eligible to work for enabling them to gain financial independence.

Wheelchairs and other assistive devices will also be provided to disabled persons.

Recommendations for the formation of a Women Protection Authority Task Force was also considered in the meeting.

The CM approved the establishment of centres in all divisions for the prevention of violence against women.

A proposal to establish a drug rehabilitation centre in each division was also reviewed along with making the Skills Development Centres in Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad operational besides establishing such facilities in other districts.

Another proposal reviewed in the meeting pertained to audit of the NGOs working for differently-abled people.

“Bathrooms and ramps for disabled people must be made mandatory in every new government building,” the CM added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2024


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