LAHORE : The Punjab Environment Protection Department has decided to increase thickness of polythene bags from 15 micron to 50 micron in order to discourage the use of lightweight and low thickness polythene bags.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Environment Protection Department Secretary Asad Rehman Gillani here on Wednesday. Director General of EPA Tanveer Jabbar, UET Prof Dr Yasir Gill, Senior Scientific Officer at PCSIR Laboratories Dr Saira Taj, Director General of WWF Hammad Naqi, President fo Plastic Bags Manufacturer Association Sharif Raja and other officials attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Asad Gillani said that people use plastic bags because they were convenient. However, the convenience of these plastic bags come at a very high cost to the environment and negatively affects on human health. He said countries around the world had begun banning the use of plastic bags while some had enforced restricted laws against the use of plastic bags because of the negative effects of their usage.  He said that the use of polythene bag was one of the major causes of environmental pollution. Keeping this in mind, he said, the government had decided to ban the use of plastic bags in the Federal Capital territory from 14thAugust this year. Likewise, the Punjab government is also considering the same but in a phased manner. “The the decision to increase the thickness of polythene bags from 15 microns to 50 micron will help discourage their use,” he added.

He emphasized that the sole purpose behind all this was to protect the environmental pollution and not to harm the people attached with this industry.