The scenic Hunza Valley has become Pakistan’s first plastic-free district, says Adviser to the PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.
The success of the project will be replicated in other provinces and the federal capital, Aslam said on Monday. He was addressing a ceremony held in Altit Hunza.
“Hunza has become the first district in Asia to be plastic-bag free,” said Aslam. “The people of Hunza deserve congratulations for implementing the ban. I hope they will continue cooperating with the administration to keep the city clean and free of plastic bags,” he said.
Hunza district has been declared a plastic-free zone, he said.
The adviser said the government is committed to replicate Hunza’s success in other districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad in the next four months.
He read out a formal imposition order of Section-144 on the use of plastic shopper bags and distributed 10,000 cloth bags among the people after the ceremony.
The government will legislate to make the four provinces and Islamabad plastic-bag free, he said, adding that the Spring Blossom Festival is held to mark the beginning of the spring season. The locals, clad in traditional dresses, participated in a six-day festival and danced to local tunes.
Earlier this month, the administration of Hunza district directed traders to use up all present stock of shopping bags by April 20. “Plastic bags are detrimental to the natural environment and human health,” a district administration circular had stated. “All the traders dealing in plastic bags should end their stock by April 20.”
It will be considered an offence to make, use, purchase, export or import plastic bags, according to the district administration’s statement.
The ban on plastic shopper bags had been imposed on recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Karakoram Area Development Organization.