PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed to impose a ban on the use of polythene bags (Plastic Shopping Bags) in the province in order to protect the environment from plastic pollution and its negative effects. He also directed for constitution of a committee to be headed by Minister for Information Shokat Yousafzai that would suggest an alternate solution against the use of polythene bags. The other members of the committee included Commissioner Peshawar, CCPO Peshawar and representatives of WSSP, Business community and Environment Department. TORs of the committee should be finalized shortly and report in this regard should also be submitted within ten days, he directed. He also underlined the need for the comprehensive campaign through print, electronic and social media for awareness of the general public in this respect.
This he said while presiding over a meeting regarding the ban on polythene bags and its alternate solution at Chief Minister Secretariat, Peshawar. Senior Provincial Minister Shehram Khan Tarakai, Minister for Information Shokat Yousafzai, Minister Environment Ishtiaq Urmer, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Muhammad Israr, Secretary Local Government, CCPO Peshawar, CEO WSSP, DG EPA, DC Peshawar, DG Local Government, Ex-President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and other concerned quarters attended the meeting. The meeting was briefed about plastic pollution and its negative effects on the overall environment in the society.
The Chief Minister said that pollution created by the polythene bags is a global issue. In Pakistan and especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this issue is in severe shape. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the use of polythene bags polluted and affected our agriculture sector, irrigation, sewerage system and also the system of drinking water to great extent. The Chief Minister said to ensure the vision of clean and green Pakistan of Prime Minister Imran Khan we will eradicate the pollution created by the use of polythene bags at any cost. He said that steps should be initiated to sort out an alternate way instead of polythene bags. The Chief Minister said we will ensure the use of biodegradable bags which will not only clean the environment but will also save the people from different disease.
The Chief Minister further said that awareness campaigns would be carried out through different media outlets so as to raise awareness of the business community and the general public about the harms and complication of polythene bags. He directed the committee that they should sit with the business community and other relevant stakeholders so as to ensure action against the use and selling/purchasing of polythene bags. The Chief Minister further directed that a comprehensive report would be prepared on the issue.