Islamabad, April 30th, 2024 – Pakistan continues to lead the charge in environmental stewardship with the full-scale implementation of the Single-Use Plastics (Prohibition) Regulations, 2023. Spearheaded by Ms. Romina Khursheed Alam, Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Climate Change & Environmental Coordination, these regulations mark a bold step towards combatting the pervasive threat of plastic pollution.

Globally, the proliferation of plastic pollution has reached crisis levels, with annual production surpassing a staggering 459.75 million tons and cumulative production totaling 9.5 billion tons by 2019. In Pakistan alone, an alarming 3.3 million tons of plastic waste are generated annually, an equivalent of the height of two K2 Mountains. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, 175 nations convened at the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2022 to forge a binding international agreement aimed at eliminating plastic pollution by 2024.

Under the visionary leadership of Ms. Romina Khursheed Alam, the Ministry of Climate Change & Environmental Coordination spearheaded the development of the Single-Use Plastics (Prohibition) Regulations, 2023. These regulations comprehensively prohibit the manufacture, import, distribution, sale, and use of single-use plastic items, with a laser focus on curbing plastic litter and fostering responsible consumer behavior.

Ms. Romina underscored the pivotal role of stakeholders including producers, importers, distributors, suppliers, and beverage manufacturers in executing the awareness-raising measures delineated in Section 12 of the law. These measures encompass incentivizing responsible consumer behavior, championing reusable alternatives, and educating consumers about the dire repercussions of plastic littering. Producers and manufacturers are firmly directed to abide by the law and adhere to the regulations. Additionally, members of the Collect and Recycle Alliance (CoRe) have been tasked with implementing proactive measures, including social media campaigns, establishing collection and recycling points, and organizing follow-up sessions to ensure effective enforcement of these regulations.

During a recent high-level meeting convened by Ms. Romina, key stakeholders, including the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), presented robust strategies for enforcing the regulations. Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah, Director General of Pak-EPA, alongside Dr. Zaigham Abbas, Director of Lab/NEQS, emphasized the paramount importance of collaborative efforts to ensure compliance and mitigate the adverse effects of plastic pollution. The Pak-EPA has already mobilized dedicated enforcement teams in collaboration with the ICT administration to ensure the seamless implementation of the Single-Use Plastics (Prohibition) Regulations, 2023.

The enactment of the Single-Use Plastics (Prohibition) Regulations, 2023 signifies a monumental milestone in Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. By embracing comprehensive measures to combat plastic pollution, Pakistan reaffirms its steadfast dedication to safeguarding the health of its citizens and preserving its natural heritage for generation

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