ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir on Wednesday said a huge quantity of polythene bags and raw material were confiscated during a raid on a polythene bag manufacturing factory in remote rural locality of Tarnol in Islamabad and fine of Rs100,000 was imposed on its owner.

She said the raid was conducted on a tip-off jointly by a team comprising officials of the climate change ministry, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Islamabad (Pak-EPA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration and area police, said a news release. “While efforts have been beefed up for stricter enforcement of ban on use, sale and manufacturing of polythene bags in the capital city and surrounding areas since March 1, 2021, no one is being spared and fined when found violating the ban.” She emphasized.

Zartaj Gul said under these efforts, the ban enforcement teams are now regularly visiting the market places, stores, malls, other public places and manufacturing sites in the capital territory for stern action and monitoring of implementation of the ban on polythene bag.

“Not only customers but also shopkeepers, sellers and manufacturers of the environmentally-damaging polythene bags are being fined during the raids and warned to stop use, sale and manufacturing of polythene bags or face the punitive action in a more stringent way if caught again in possession of the banned polythene bags,” she emphasized.

Lauding the role of the official enforcement teams comprising officials of climate change minister Pak-EPA Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and Islamabad Police, she said without untiring efforts and aggressive chasing of the ban violators the enforcement of the polythene bag ban could not have been possible.

“I personally feel encouraged seeing the enforcement teams ensuring implementation of the law in all forms and manifestations, the state minister urged the people to cooperate with these enforcement teams and ensure that our neighbourhoods and business are free from the menace of polythene bags that are damaging not only the environment but also human and animal health,” Zartaj Gul expressed.

Under the re-enforcement of the complete ban on polythene bags beginning from March 1, use of all polyethylene bags at any level has been again made liable to be fined in the capital region of around 1.5 million people, she highlighted.

“Anyone who is found using, selling or manufacturing the polythene bags would face a severe action in the shape of fines,” she warned, adding that all relevant government organisations have been directed to remain vigilant and fine anyone found in possession of the polythene bags.