Ministry urged to adopt environment-friendly fabric bags

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Zubair Qureshi

Only fabric bags are the environment-friendly alternate to the plastic shopping bags that are banned in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from the Pakistan Independence Day August 14.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed made these remarks while speaking at the launch of Devcom cotton bags campaign at the Institute of Rural Management (IRM).
But unfortunately the Ministry of Climate Change got approved hypocritical regulations from the cabinet that bans the single-use polyethylene (PE) bags while allow the use of polypropylene bags with a thin layer of PE.
The campaign is initiated by the Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (DCLC), a group of young environmentalists. Senior environmentalists, heads of different civil society and government organisations, and fellows of the LEAD Pakistan were present on the occasion.
Munir Ahmed said quite shockingly the climate ministry has been promoting proactively the polypropylene bags having thin PE layer inside. Several videos show that PP bags of the blue eyed company were promoted as the ‘government approved’ bags. Advisor to the Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam has already promised to take up an enquiry into the matter. But this is very serious matter and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) shall take notice of climate ministry’s proactive campaign to promote polypropylene bags that have more impact than PE bags. This could have multitier vested interest.
Roomi S Hayatm, the IRM chief executive, appreciated the IDCLC for taking up rationally priced 100 per cent cotton bags as a campaign in the federal capital. He hoped that businesses and citizens would appreciate the effort and switch over to the environmental friendly alternates instead of using any type of plastic or poly bags.
The charter president of the IDCLC Shaaref Munir said the market has been flooded with the polypropylene bags unfortunately supported by the authorities that are supposed to curb the use of any type of bags which are not biodegradable. He said the IDCLC members are striving hard to educate shopkeepers and citizens about the alternates. He thanked the LEAD Fellows Network, IRM and the senior environmentalists for their support, and believed that plastic bags would be wiped off from the ICT with the help and support of the genuine environmentalists and concerned citizens.