Plastic ban in Islamabad


Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change in the world; before the issue could escalate further the Minister for climate change, Zartaj Gul had put a ban on plastic bags to combat the rising problem. The decision of the implementing plastic ban was widely welcomed because it caused great problems in the federal capital as all the major nullahs were often chocked due to the plastics thrown there.
Zartaj Gul announced a hefty fine in the range of Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 500,000 for manufacturers of such plastic bags and urging them to cooperate and adapt with the step.
Recognizing the cumulative role of plastic bags in global warming, the minister announced this as an urgent step. She informed the press conference that the move had been made with unanimous support, including that of PM Imran Khan.
According to a report by the Center for International Environmental Law, the effects of plastic bags on climate change are often deliberately hidden. The report comprehensively estimates the carbon footprint of these bags from “cradle to grave” for the first time and cites it as one of the major bulwarks in stopping the rise of world temperatures by more than 1.5C, a stated goal of the international community. Plastic production is on an upward trend worldwide and is estimated to be a major hurdle in accomplishing some stated goals of the historic Paris Climate change agreement as it will make up 13% of the total “carbon budget.”
In the outset, the campaign got tremendous response and shopkeepers started implementing the ban; however gradually the campaign lost its momentum. It is an important and much-needed initiative; hence government should give full attention to enforce it not only in the federal capital but it should be extended to the rest of the country.

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