The federal cabinet has approved “Single Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations 2023” to kick start Pakistan’s “journey to reduce plastic waste”, announced Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on World Environment Day.
“The new regulation will phase out single-use plastic items throughout Islamabad. We will also be introducing an action plan for its implementation,” tweeted the premier.
The PM also announced that to reflect Pakistan’s commitment to fighting pollution, all the federal government entities including his office have been “directed to be the front-runners and strictly use only refillable water containers from today onwards”.
“I urge all provincial governments and the public at large to join us in reducing and helping to beat plastic pollution in Pakistan,” he added.
The approval of the policy came on World Environment Day — an initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and held annually on June 5 since 1973.
“World Environment Day is the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world,” says the UN. This year’s host for the day is Côte D’Ivoire.
‘Plastic pollution’: Pakistan calls for global action
Earlier today, in a message on the occasion of World Environment Day, PM Shehbaz emphasised the urgent need to combat plastic pollution under the global theme “Beating Plastic Pollution”.
He stressed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to combat plastic pollution and embark on a journey of plastics reduction.
He said that his government has taken several steps to take the country on the path to sustainable use of resources.
PM Shehbaz acknowledged that Pakistan has actively participated in crucial international and national level discussions to develop a comprehensive, legally binding instrument aimed at ending plastic pollution, with a target date set for 2024.
The government of Pakistan recognises the significance of ensuring inclusivity and equity within the agreement, emphasizing the need for the treaty to prioritize so that no one is left behind.
The prime minister also called upon all stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, civil society organisations, and the media, to renew their commitment to the fight against plastic pollution and preserving the planet’s biodiversity for future generations.
He emphasised the importance of empowering local communities, supporting recycling initiatives, and promoting a circular economy that minimises plastic waste.