People in Islamabad want the city to join the likes of Hunza in fighting plastic pollution.
The members of a non-government organisation, Tahreek-e-Islamabad, held a drive in Sangum Market where they raised awareness over the nuisance caused by plastic bags and distributed cotton tote bags among the people.
“The purpose of the anti-plastic campaign is to encourage people to use cotton bags as much as possible instead of plastic bags,” said an organiser. We don’t realise the type of damage plastic bags have on the environment,” he remarked.
Plastic bags are an environmental nuisance, said another member of the organisation. You cannot envision a clean and green Pakistan as long as they are being used in the country, he added.
“We just want people to start thinking about their use of plastic bags,” said a woman affiliated with Tahreek-e-Islamabad. She remarked that the organisation hopes that people change the way they use plastic and look for its alternatives.
The federal government has taken the task of making Islamabad a plastic-free city. In April, Adviser to the PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that the government will legislate to make the four provinces and Islamabad plastic-free.
The scenic Hunza Valley became Pakistan’s first plastic-free district this year. It is now an offence to make, use, purchase, export or import plastic bags, according to the district administration’s statement. The ban has been imposed on the recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Karakoram Area Development Organization.
Earlier, other provinces also announced a ban on the use of plastic shopping bags. However, no one could ensure its proper implementation, majorly because of a lack of awareness and alternative arrangements.