Rana Farooq phasing out use, sale of plastic bags

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Climate Change, Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan has pressed on need for replacement of poisonous plastic bags with biodegradable plastic bags, which are environment friendly and is not detrimental to human health.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference here on Thursday. He said bags, both paper and plastic, in fact represent a huge threat to the environment. This menace is not only pertains to the sheer volume of them ending up in landfill, but also to the resources needed to produce, transport and occasionally recycle them, and the emissions resulting from these processes, he adding these disposable bags are also notorious for their interference in ecosystems and the part they play in flood events, where they clog pipes and drains,” he said.

Besides, paper bags production, he added, requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and different toxic chemicals including sulphurous acid that can lead to acid rain and water contamination, which is hazardous for the life on earth.

He said that is praiseworthy the Environment Protection Agency EPA , Pakistan, has succeeded in getting approval from the Federal Ministry of Law and Justice for banning the use and sale of the plastic bags in all forms and its export, which [the ban] has been already notified.

Rana Farooq informed the media that under the law, the use, sale and export of the plastic bags will be completely banned in Pakistan from April 2013 and in place of it Oxobiodegradable plastic bags will be introduced in the country.

He said, ” The ban is entirely in favour our human health and we have to support it at any cost. For, it will help us get rid of the disposable plastic bags.”

Similar actions have already been taken in America, Asia and Europe in view of the harmful effects of the bags, he highlighted.

The Minister said that the Ministry in support with the EPA will close work with provincial environment department on the implementation of law against use and sale of the plastic bags in letter and spirit.

The Minister told media that the climate change ministry has already approached the representatives of the Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association of Pakistan and office bearers of the Karachi and Lahore chambers of commerce of industries to draw their support for banning the use and sale of the bags.

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