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Event Title: Robust action plan urgent to make capital plastic free : Mushahid

Event Date: 2019-02-13

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, while presiding over a meeting of the Sub Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, has called for a robust plan of action to rid the capital city Islamabad of plastic bags and excessive littering as both pose threats to the environment. He also sought proposals from the stakeholders to overcome the hazard and said that climate change needs collective efforts with practical and concrete steps to mitigate its harmful effects.
 
Senator Mushahid pointed out that there is lack of awareness among the masses which is contributing towards excessive use of plastic bags causing enormous environmental problems. “ Media has important role to play in this regard” Senator Mushahid remarked while directing PEMRA to ensure implementation of policy for public service messages on electronic media to raise awareness and sensitize the public.
 
He said that parliament and government departments should be made plastic free. The meeting decided to wrote letters to Chairman Senate and Speaker of the National Assembly to take steps for making the parliament plastic free.  
 
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir said that government has a clear vision for clean and green Pakistan. She said that plastic cannot be banned completely but can only be phased out by imposing heavy taxes and working out alternative solutions. Special Invitee and Expert Dushka Sayed observed that there is need to develop a habit among the public to start using cloth made bags instead of plastic bags. Another Christine Afridi also emphasized that discouragement of the excessive use of plastic bags is highly important.
 
Senator Mushahid observed that site visits are also very important for this purpose. He said that awareness campaigns should focus on mobilizing students, garbage collection and disposal. 
 
Earlier, the Committee was given a detailed briefing by Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad, Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Federal Directorate of education on environmental pollution, hospital waste management and matters pertaining to make Islamabad plastic free city.  It was informed that solar and wind are better options for power generation.  Low cost and easy availability of plastic bags are contributing towards environmental degradation. Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Hassan Nasir Jami informaed that alternate options are being worked out. Rector COMSAT informed that the COMSAT university has been made plastic free.
 
Senator Kesho Bai said that Sindh government is taking solid steps to discourage the excessive use of plastic bags.
 
Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz informed that campaigns were launched against littering, however, funds constraints are making it difficult to carry out a comprehensive campaign.
 
The meeting was attended by Senators Kesho Bai, Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, MOS Zartaj Gul Wazir , Mayor Islamabad Shaikh Ansar Aziz, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Hassan Nasir Jami, representatives of EPA, FDE , PEMRA and others.