App link developed to help report Plastic bags ban violations: Zartaj Gul

Zartaj urges federal govt institutions to join war on polythene bags

ISLAMABAD, Mar 18 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Thursday announced that the Islamabad City smart application was linked to help citizens report plastic bags ban violations for swift administrative action.

The application was amended with a separate domain to help citizens report hidden violations made by retailers or manufacturers of plastic bags with an easy to fill form and direct outreach to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) department concerned and the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), the Minister of State told media here in a briefing.

The main purpose, she said, of the presser was to apprise the media on plantation targets made under Ten Billion Tree Tsunami plantation project and the Ministry’s collaboration with SUPARCO for satellite monitoring of the plantation sites. Secondly, the update on plastic bags ban enforcement measures and lastly to brief on efforts to eradicate excessive use of mercury in cosmetics under Minamata Convention.

The plastic bags were strictly banned in the federal capital where individuals found carrying plastic or polythene bags would be fined Rs 5,000, retailers Rs10,000 and manufacturers Rs100,000 to ensure strict enforcement of the ban, she said.

Zartaj informed that the joint enforcement team of the MoCC, ICT administration, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, MCI and CDA had inspected over 900 retailer shops, restaurants and factories to enforce the ban.

During the inspection raids, around 3,500 kilogrammes of plastic bags and relevant material and Rs 2.75 million fine was imposed on the violators.

She urged the masses to report maximum violations of plastic bags ban on the Islamabad City App as half a million people were using the app.

The minister underscored that under Ten Billion Tree Plantation project over 710 million trees being planted since inception of the programme and would successfully achieve the first billion target under the massive afforestation project.

Zartaj said the survival ratio of trees as per the reports from the provinces showed 70 to 90 percent survival rate which was encouraging.

She furthermore said the Ministry has also developed an MOU with SUPARCO to monitor plantation sites and its data would be made public after completion of the study.

The MoCC was the first ministry to volunteer for third party evaluation of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project by global institutions of WWF, IUCN and FAO, she added.

The minister also added that after ratifying Minamata Convention on eradicating the use of hazardous mercury causing cancer; the country successful managed to get US$75,000 by the UN.

“This funding will be used to set up enforcement directorate to ensure limited use of mercury in cosmetics and other products used widely,” she added.