According to plastic manufacturers, this step will help protect the local industry and promote the use of recyclable bags.
Speaking to the media, Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association (PPMA) Senior Vice-Chairman Muhammad Shoaib Munshi said that recyclable bags were available in the open market, which could be used as an alternative for non-biodegradable bags, on which a ban has been imposed since October 1.
He informed the media personnel that PPPMA had cleared the backlog of non-biodegradable plastic bags from Jodia Bazaar and other markets located in different areas of Karachi, including Liaquatabad and Malir.
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In place of non-biodegradable plastic bags, recyclable plastic bags are now available in the markets, he said.
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According to Munshi, traders have started placing orders for recyclable plastic bags to the factories.
However, he also pointed out that increasing the thickness of the bags has also increased their manufacturing cost.
Previously, a bundle weighing around one kilogramme used to have around 1,000 bags but the same bundle now comprises only a few hundred bags due to the increase in size and thickness, said Munshi.
He also suggested that the government set up collection points for used plastic bags which would help with recycling.
Separately, Karachi Police Additional Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon informed the media that police, on the directives of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), have been taking action against wholesalers found to be using non-biodegradable plastic bags. Several stockpiles of banned plastic bags have been confiscated during raids in different markets, he said.
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The Sindh government had imposed a ban on the manufacture, sale and purchase of non-biodegradable plastic bags starting October 1.
However, it hadn’t placed any restrictions on the use of bags made of environment-friendly oxo-biodegradable plastic.
According to the notification issued by the provincial government, the use of only oxo-biodegradable plastic bags is allowed in Sindh.
The notification further said that only the use of oxo-biodegradable bags from 30 microns to 40 microns would be allowed.
Published on tribune.com.pk