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Use of plastic shopping bags banned in Hunza

Updated April 23, 2019

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Boy scouts participate in an awareness walk in Hunza on Monday against use of plastic bags. — APP
Boy scouts participate in an awareness walk in Hunza on Monday against use of plastic bags. — APP

GILGIT: Adviser to prime minister on climate change Malik Ameen Aslam has announced to impose ban on use of plastic shopping bags in Islamabad and the four provinces to help mitigate climate change effects.

“Necessary legislation will be made to impose ban on plastic bags usage across the country,” he said.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of banning use of plastic shopping bags, in Altit area of Hunza here on Monday, Mr Aslam claimed that Hunza became the first district in Asia to have imposed ban on plastic bags’ use. He also announced to impose section 144 to ensure strict enforcement of the ban in the district.

Malik Aslam said it was an excellent initiative and appreciated the Hunza community for the step. He said without active cooperation of local communities it was impossible to take such a huge step.

The PM’s adviser said Prime Minister Imran Khan during his upcoming China visit would sign agreements to start construction of public parks in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said the government would not let Hunza turn into another ‘Murree’ and massive unplanned constructions would be regulated to protect natural environment.

He said the federal government aimed to initiate glacial lake outbursts floods project in GB to mitigate the effects of floods. He said two billion trees would be planted in Gilgit-Baltistan under the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign to help neutralise climate change effects.

The adviser said 10,000 cloth bags would be distributed among the Hunza people to discourage use of plastic shopping bags as the latter was a health hazard.

On the occasion, GB Environmental Protection Agency Director Shahzad Shigri said plastic shopping bags not only were dangerous for human health but also for environment.

He said after three months the ban would be imposed in other districts of GB as well.

GB chief secretary Khurram Agha, secretary environment Asifullah, secretary information Fida Hussain, district officials, elders of the area, civil society activists also participated in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Malik Aslam inaugurated a tree plantation drive in GB the other day.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2019