Business community asked to cooperate in controlling use of polythene bags

ISLAMABAD-Director General, Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah Thursday 
said that the polythene shopping bags were posing serious threats to human health and the environment besides causing blockage of streams, nullahs and sewerage lines. Therefore, the business community should cooperate in controlling their use in the federal capital to promote a healthy environment, she said while addressing the members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) during her visit to the Chamber.   
Farzana Altaf Shah said that PAK-EPA needed the cooperation of ICCI and the Market Associations for proper implementation of plastic shopping bags laws and regulations to make Islamabad a plastic free city. 
She briefed the business community about the key features of the new regulations to prohibit the use of plastic shopping bags and hoped that as responsible citizens, they would extend full cooperation in complying with these regulations. 
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI assured that the business community would cooperate in controlling the plastic shopping bags in Islamabad in order to make Islamabad a clean and green and environmentally friendly city. 
However, he urged the government to ensure the easy availability of the alternatives of plastic shopping bags and adopt a gradual approach for the implementation of a ban on their use to save the business community from unnecessary problems. 
Ahsan Bakhtawari said that the rising heatwaves, droughts, floods and heavy rains are the outcome of changing climate and stressed the government to take urgent measures to promote a healthy environment to save the country from more natural tragedies. 
He said that a national drive should be launched to promote tree plantation, green energy, recycling plans and waste management systems to save the environment from further deterioration. 
He said that strong measures should be taken to control illegal plastic bags production and urged the government to subsidize the production of alternatives of polythene bags. 
Khalid Iqbal Malik, ICCI Group Leader showed concerns over the changing climate and emissions of various hazardous smokes in Islamabad and stressed that PAK-EPA should take strong actions to control them. 
Zafar Bakhtawari, Secretary General UBG also urged the government to give awards to those businesses which fully comply with the environmental laws and contribute to promote a healthy environment. It would motivate others to implement such laws, he added. 
He said that reward and punishment was part of every society and the ICCI would also give awards to those businessmen who would promote environmentally friendly business activities to motivate others.

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