ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday emphasized the importance of a cleaner and greener environment.
The minister said that one of the biggest reasons for the blockage of drainage systems in the country were plastic shopping bags which are bio-degradable.
Qureshi is set to kick-off an environment-friendly campaign aimed at the eradication of plastic shopping bags from the capital; the campaign is set to be held on August 14.
The foreign minister stressed that the environment was a responsibility of each and every citizen of Pakistan and it must be safeguarded and protected.
Earlier, State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Monday announced to ban the usage of plastic bags in Islamabad from August 14.
“Plastic bags would be banned in the federal capital from August 14”, she said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday.
She said PM Imran Khan is a visionary man, who is focusing on climate change, which is affecting Pakistan negatively, adding that Pakistan ranked 7th in the list of countries affected due to natural disasters.
In May this year, Gul had informed a National Assembly session that the government would impose a ban on plastic bags in Islamabad by August 14.
Responding to a question, she had urged the masses to use cotton bags as an alternative to plastic bags.
Gul said that a statutory regulatory order under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 was being drafted to give legal cover to the proposed ban.
She said: “Five thousand cotton bags had been distributed amongst employees of the federal government and more are being procured for distribution in weekly Bazars and other markets free of cost.”
The minister further said that her ministry distributed cotton bags among parliamentarians and journalists as an alternative to plastic bags.