A complete ban has been imposed on the manufacture, use, purchase and sale of polythene bags in Multan, according to a notification by the district’s environment department.
It instructed all public stores, malls and shops to implement the orders strictly and come up with alternatives for plastic bags.
“The ban was imposed on orders of the Lahore High Court,” said Environment Department Deputy Director Dr Zafar. “Whoever is found using the bags will be punished.”
Residents have lauded the new order and have pledged to do their part in keeping the city clean.
Plastic bag manufacturers have, however, called the decision “unjust” and “hasty”. “The aftermath of the implementation will mean losses in millions and hundreds of people unemployed,” one manufacturer said.
He added that the decision should be revisited and additions should be made to it incorporating the interests of shop and factory owners.
Plastic bags have been banned in the federal capital since August 14, 2019 as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Clean Green Pakistan campaign. It is now illegal to manufacture, sell and distribute plastic bags in the city.
Under the ban, producers can be fined up to Rs500,000, while sellers can be fined up to Rs50,000 and people who are caught using plastic bags can be fined up to Rs5,000.
Following this, similar steps were also taken in Sindh and Balochistan.
To be biodegradable means that a substance is capable of being decomposed by bacteria and other living organisms and does not create pollution. Basically, it’s absorbed into the environment.
Ordinary plastic, on the other hand, doesn’t get degraded and stays for years and years, creating pollution and health hazards for living things.