Tackling Plastic Pollution in Islamabad capital on World Consumer Rights Day

14 Mar 2021

Webinar - Tackling Plastic Pollution in Islamabad capital on World Consumer Rights Day, 2021

Tackling Plastic Pollution in Islamabad capital on World Consumer Rights Day, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad capital city will soon be polythene bags free setting an example for other

cities to follow, vow the capital administration in a webinar to commemorate World Consumer

Rights Day with the title “Tackling Plastic Pollution”.


The webinar was organized by the network for Consumer Protection, with the aim to assess the

effectiveness and impact of global sustainable consumption strategies at the district level. The

experience of Capital city administration in fighting plastic was the focus on World Consumer

Rights Day, 2021.


The key speakers addressing the session were; Mr. Rana Waqas Anwar, Additional Deputy

Commissioner Islamabad, and Mr. Babar Sahib Din, Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad

(East), Zulfiqar Ali Jhammat, Deputy Director, Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR), Sadham D.

Zarjahan, Global Executive Director – Operations and Partnerships International Youth Council

HQ.


Babar Sahib Din, ADC, Islamabad (East) talked about the regulations regarding no polythene

bags. He said that the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, Ministry of Climate

Change representatives, and Environment Protection Agency are working together in order to

implement the said regulations. He also talked about the involvement of trade unions, chamber

of commerce and manufacturers who were taken on board since the beginning. He added that

no polythene bags awareness campaigns in Barakahu and other areas were run with the support

of the above-mentioned stakeholders. He added that the manufacture of cloth and jute bags

were promoted by the Ministry of Climate Change and fines were imposed as well.


He informed the audience that many trade centres and wholesale businesses were inspected

and the violators were fined. Special teams were formed in ICT to identify the manufacturers of

polythene bags as well. He added that tons of plastic bags were confiscated. He also answered

the query of the participants regarding the penalty for plastic bags.


Mr. Nadeem Iqbal CEO, of the network also addressed the session and informed the audience

about World Consumer Rights Day and its implications for consumers across the globe. He also

informed the audience about the use of plastic in everyday lives and highlighted that it must be

curtailed in order to avoid its long-lasting hazards.


Rana Waqas Anwar, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad also joined the session and

shared the overall situation of the ICT. He said that these regulations were made for the capital

city and steps were being taken for the implementation. He added that plastic and its use is

dangerous especially single-use plastic. He also added that consumers must endure a little cost

in order to save future generations from getting overburdened by the bane of plastic pollution.


He added that one of the most significant success stories is that polythene manufacturing plants

have been closed in the capital city. He said that urban centres are strictly following the

guidelines. However, there are still gaps in the implementation of the rural or marginalized

centres of the capital city. He also added that the consumers know their rights and they must

become responsible citizens so that we can get rid of this issue of plastic pollution.


Zulfiqar Ali Jhammat, Deputy Director, Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) also addressed the

audience. He appreciated the efforts of the network and said that grassroots level needs to be

catered to in this regard. He said that awareness regarding consumer rights and that of plastic

pollution must be given to the people of rural areas. He also added that in this era of COVID-19

online sessions can be held to increase the outreach to the consumers and inform them about

their due rights and duties.


Another key speaker, Sadham D. Zarjahan talked about the importance of small actions with

regard to the curtailment of plastic especially polythene bags. He added that international best

practices can be adopted by the ICT administration like giving incentives to the consumers to cut

plastic use in their daily lives. He also stressed that awareness and consumer response are the

key elements for ensuring proper implementation on the said regulations.


This World Consumer Rights Day (15 March 2021), consumer organizations around the world are

calling for global change to tackle plastic pollution. The 2021 World Consumer Rights Day

campaign’s theme is 7Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Replace.

Consumers everywhere are taking action now on every one of the 7Rs and demanding that

government and business should support them to do more.


World Consumer Rights Day, coordinated by Consumers International, the membership

organization for consumer groups around the world, takes place every year to highlight the

importance of consumer protection and empowerment. In 2021 the role of consumers and

consumer advocacy is highlighted in tackling plastic pollution and it is being demonstrated that

consumers everywhere demand change for the environment and health.


As per Consumers International Organization data, around 40% of the plastic is produced for

packaging and is discarded after single use that adds to the plastic pollution. Likewise, in the last

15 years, the production of plastic skyrocketed than at any other time. Around 8 million tons of

plastic waste enters the oceans across the globe.


By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Moreover,

100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic

pollution annually. Single-use plastics account for 50 per cent of the plastic produced every

year.


A report titled, ‘Breaking the Plastic Wave’, released by Pew Charitable Trusts & SYSTEMIQ

in August 2020, concluded that the flow of plastic materials into the ocean will get tripled by

2040, until and unless correct policy measures are adopted and implemented in letter and spirit.