ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s banning polythene bags in Islamabad has put thousands of people on the chopping block.
The ban has affected a large number of people as the businesses linked with plastic bags industry have shut down as a result of it and their employees have become victims of downsizing.
Traders said it had become difficult for daily-wagers working in distribution of polythene bags, wholesale and retailers to earn livelihood.
A thousands of other labourers have been left unemployed as factories involved in the business of labelling plastic bags had closed their businesses.
The plastic bag business has abruptly slumped and people associated with it have reached at the point of starvation.
The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has expressed concerns on raids, sealing and closure of shops and food outlets following imposition of ban on plastic bags.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on August 21 announced the plan to ban polythene bags across Punjab.
Addressing a press conference, Zartaj Gul said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had sent the agenda of banning plastic bags in all the major cities in the province which would be followed suit by small cities as well.
On this occasion, she did not shy from lauding the Sindh government’s initiative of banning non-biodegradable polythene bags in the province and said the campaign launched by her ministry was countrywide. She said the Sindh government had acknowledged that plastics bags were one of the main reasons of choking of drains during the recent monsoon which created urban flooding in Karachi.
The minister clarified that initially the government would ban single-use plastic bags only.
She said people had become so used to it that billions of shopping bags were being used annually in the country. She said it took 500 years to plastic bags to erode.
Zartaj Gul said the climate change ministry did not intend to carry out raids and would deal the matter leniently.