ISLAMABAD: Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah, the Director General of Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), emphasized that polythene shopping bags present significant risks to both human health and the environment.
These bags not only lead to the obstruction of streams, nullahs, and sewerage lines but also endanger the overall ecological balance. In light of this, she called upon the business community to actively collaborate in curtailing the usage of these bags within the federal capital, thereby fostering a healthier environment.
She said this while addressing the members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry during her visit to ICCI.
Farzana Altaf Shah said that PAK-EPA needs the cooperation of ICCI and the Market Associations for proper implementation of plastic shopping bags laws and regulations to make Islamabad a plastic free city. She briefed the business community about the key features of the new regulations to prohibit the use of plastic shopping bags and hoped that as responsible citizens, they would extend full cooperation in complying with these regulations.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry assured that the business community would cooperate in controlling the plastic shopping bags in Islamabad in order to make Islamabad a clean & green and environmentally friendly city.
However, he said that the government should ensure the easy availability of the alternatives of plastic shopping bags and adopt a gradual approach for the implementation of a ban on their use to save the business community from unnecessary problems.
Ahsan Bakhtawari said that the rising heatwaves, droughts, floods and heavy rains are the outcome of changing climate and stressed that the government should take urgent measures to promote a healthy environment to save the country from more natural tragedies.
He said that a national drive should be launched to promote tree plantation, green energy, recycling plans and waste management systems to save the environment from further deterioration. He said that strong measures should be taken to control illegal plastic bags production.
He stressed that the government should subsidize the production of alternatives of polythene bags.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, ICCI Group Leader showed concerns over the changing climate and emissions of various hazardous smokes in Islamabad and stressed that PAK-EPA should take strong actions to control them.
Zafar Bakhtawari, former President ICCI and Secretary General UBG said that the government should give awards to those businesses who fully comply with the environmental laws and contribute to promote a healthy environment. It would motivate others to implement such laws.
He said that ICCI is ready to give award the Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah in recognition of her efforts to promote a healthy environment in the Capital. He said that reward and punishment is part of every society. He said that ICCI would also give awards to those businessmen who would promote environmentally friendly business activities to motivate others.
Asad Aziz, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Zahid Qureshi, Akhlaq Abbasi, Khalid Chaudhry, Sardar Shabbir Abbasi, Abdul Rehman Siddiqui, Akhtar Abbasi, Shahid Gondal, Faseeh ullah Khan, Dr. Zaigham, Jamil Ahmed Qureshi, Malik Shabbir, Shah Anwar and others were present on the occasion.