LHC gives EPA a week to enforce ban on plastic bags at stores

Updated February 22, 2020

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On Feb 7 last, the judge had given a two-week time to the departmental stores to shift to alternate modes. — Photo courtesy Mohammad Asim
On Feb 7 last, the judge had given a two-week time to the departmental stores to shift to alternate modes. — Photo courtesy Mohammad Asim

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday sought a report from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) about compliance of a ban on use of plastic bags at all mega stores in the provincial metropolis.

“There should be no plastic bags at stores after a week,” Justice Shahid Karim ordered the EPA.

On Feb 7 last, the judge had given a two-week time to the departmental stores to shift to alternate modes.

During the Friday’s hearing, Advocate Abuzar Salman Niazi, on behalf of petitioner, complained to the judge that the order of the court had not been implemented in letter and spirit.

A legal officer of the EPA told the court that steps were being taken to enforce the ban.

A lawyer appeared on behalf of polythene bags manufacturers and sought court’s permission to become a party to the case. The judge, however, dismissed the request and advised the manufacturers to approach the government if they had any grievance.

At this point, the judge observed that the whole world had already abandoned plastic bags and big industries were turning themselves into “green companies”, the environment friendly companies.

Justice Karim observed that the polythene bags had become a poison for the environment.

The counsel for the manufacturers said they were also in favour of banning the hazardous plastic bags. He said the manufacturers had started producing biodegradable bags but had been facing harassment at the hands of government officials.

Taking up another matter, the judge allowed two more weeks to the petroleum ministry to finalise process for adoption of Euro IV & V standards diesel and petrol fuels.

A federal government lawyer told the court that the policy to adopt environment friendly fuels was in final stages.

Separately, the judge also sought a report from Traffic, Engineering and Planning Agency (Tepa) on a plan for roads of the city and encroachment.

The EPA was also directed to submit a report on progress in steps taken for water treatment and recycling.

The judge adjourned further hearing of all matters till Feb 28.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020