LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce ban on the manufacturing, sale and use of polythene bags in entire Punjab.
Justice Shahid Karim was hearing a public interest petition when petitioner’s counsel Abuzar Salman Niazi said at present the ban on plastic bags was enforced in Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad districts.
He said except three, the bags were being used in all districts of the province which was a great hurdle to achieve the real purpose of the ban on environmentally hazardous polythene bags.
The judge ordered the EPA to extend this ban in the entire province and give ten days to mega stores and shopping malls for compliance of the order.
Earlier, a law officer filed a report about the ban on plastic bags in three districts and the action taken against the violators. A separate report was also submitted about the action being taken against the factories for violation of environment laws.
In February, Justice Karim had banned plastic bags in the provincial metropolis. Later he extended it in Gujranwala and Faisalabad.
The petition filed by a citizen, Haroon Farooq, stated that the plastic products caused harmful effects on human health and environment. It said the polythene bags were single use products which took thousands of years to decompose and they had been causing havoc in various areas of Punjab and were damaging the sewerage system of cities, spreading epidemics, polluting soil, causing water pollution and endangering aquatic life.
The petition sought a complete ban on manufacturing, use, sale, storage, import and marketing of polythene bags in the province.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2020