Anti-plastic campaign; RCCI expresses concerns over raids, sealing of shops

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STAFF REPORT

RAWALPINDI

The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has shown serious concerns on recent wave of raids, sealing and closure of shops and food outlets on the account of plastic bag ban.

RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem in a meeting with traders at chamber house here on Thursday said that the Chamber has received multiple complaints of raids and harassment of traders by Government machinery mainly ministry of Climate Change on use of polythene bags.

He said recently the officials of the Ministry of Climate Change and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency raided a local food outlet for inspection and implementation of their new ‘no plastic bags’ policy.

The matter was immediately taken into the notice of district administration and resolved amicably, however, the affidavit was later made viral on social media which not only damaged the goodwill of the outlet but also caused the defamation of staff. We condemn this kind of behavior from Government ministry.

RCCI President said that traders were already showing compliance to environment friendly polythene bags. It was very unfortunate that the given activity resulted in the harassment of the business community and halted the actual cause of the motive.

Traders do support government initiative of plastic free and environment friendly business activities in the cities.

However, a detailed mapping of opportunities in the industry for recycling of plastic, cost and availability of substitutes of single-use plastic bags is needed.

The end users need to be taken aboard in a way that instead of being motivated by legal compulsions, they voluntarily ask for eco-friendly substitutes, he added.

On the other hand, the government must improve its waste management system in the cities and introduce a new policy for re-cycling plants and Ecopreneurs must be promoted to make Clean Pakistan project, a success, he added.