The Plastic Bags Association has voiced concerns about the overnight blanket ban on polyethylene bags instead of going to sustainable environmental protection regulations.

Speaking at a press conference at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Friday, the association’s office-bearers and officials said the ban would result in the closure of 8,000 factories, which would eventually make millions of individuals unemployed.

Flanked by LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal, officer bearers including Jehanzeb Jilani, Faisal Malik, Aleem Ahmad, Faisal Qadri, and Moazzam Rasheed said that plastic bags sector was among top five revenue-generating sectors of Pakistan.

“It is also the backbone of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and the cottage industry,” they said, adding that the association has its own Research & Development and Standing Committee on the Environment that provided the government with recommendations and a roadmap for laws.

They called on the Ministry of Climate Change and the Departments of Environmental Protection to hold positive meetings with the association and form a sustainable policy on this environmental issue.

They said the latest environmental issue was actually a waste management company failure. The Plastic Bags Association has discussed and presented all the relevant alternatives to tackle environmental issues to the government

“Plastic bags association has advised minimum 45-micron thickness and size 12x”15” that can be easily re-used, collected and recycled. This suggestion was accepted by technical and legal teams of the government”, they added.

“Polyethylene is FDA approved product. Countries like USA, Europe, Australia, Canada etc have not banned plastic bags but have regulated like our association has suggested”, they said.

They said the government should take other steps for sustainable and green environment rather than a full ban on plastic bags.