Three-phase strategy devised to free ICT from plastic bags

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Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has devised a three-phase strategy to free Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from plastic bags. The ministry had made all preparations for a massive three tier campaign on plastic bags to make the ban a success, said a official of the secretary MoCC Hassan Nasir Jamy.
The ministry had demanded a week from the federal cabinet for implementation action of the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) after its approval, he said. “The implementation mechanism will kick start from the education and awareness of the masses in the first week. It will commence by the next till the end of July where the ministry would engage people to people contact to impart them knowledge on the hazards of plastic bags and reason for its ban,” the official said.
He said that the next week activities would focus on providing alternates and homemade solutions to the layman for plastic bags. There had been proposals by the scientists to introduce household decomposing capacities for phasing out plastic bags, the official noted.
“We have suggested cotton bags, jute bags and any other bags except polythene bags as alternates in the SRO,” he added.However, in the last phase the implementation of the ban on plastic bags would be imposed from August 7 to 14, he added. The ministry, he said had made over 100,000 cotton bags which would be distributed among the masses in Friday and Sunday Bazaars to acquaint them with the alternates of plastic bags. “We will also distribute cotton bags in all of the ministries so that their working staff could take up the message to shun the use of plastic bags.
The youth, students and civil society would be engaged for the distribution of cotton bags in the public places and bazaars,” the ministry official said. Moreover, a massive awareness campaign on social, electronic and print media would be launched along with outdoor campaigns at metro stations, parks and other public places. The business community would also be involved in the process as it would be incorporated under corporate social responsibility (CSR), he said.
To a question, he said that no one was going to face unemployment and business crunch as it would involve merely the conversion of their plants to produce biodegradable plastic bags. “At present, there is only one unit in the federal capital which has the required paraphernalia to adapt during the implementation of ban,” he added. Answering another question, he said that 80 per cent of the plastic bags in the federal capital come from Punjab province where the district administration would take all preemptive measures to avoid trafficking of plastic bags in the ICT.—APP