The Lahore Cantonment Board (LCB) has decided to ban biodegradable plastic bags within its boundaries because of the non availability of devices for proper testing and finding of biodegradability in the plastic bags.
Biodegradable materials are added in plastic bags for permitting them to decompose speedily as compared to natural decomposition of plastic which takes hundreds of years.
It is worth telling that the a year ago, LCB had decided using only biodegradable plastic bags in the area, after which all shopkeepers were issued a notification in this regard whereas an awareness campaign about the usage of biodegradable plastic bags was also conducted. Officials of LCB frequently visited shops and sealed shops that were not following the order of using biodegradable plastic bags.
Another shopkeeper from Nishat Colony, Muhammad Irfan, appreciated the new order and said, “The decision of LCB is good because despite the using of degradable bags, the situation of plastic pollution is the same. Most of the bags were not decomposing despite bearing the stamp of biodegradability on it”.
Plastic is not only using in shopping bags but also in all kind of store items such as bread, bakery items, cosmetics, bottles, cigarettes, garments, medicines, etc in our country. There is a need to create awareness among the multinational and local companies to stop using of plastic bags.
LCB Information Technology Manager Umair Shaukat said, “Yes, we are encouraging people and shopkeepers for avoiding of using any kind of plastic bag whether it is biodegradable or not, because we have no method to ensure that the plastic will decompose.”
He further added that “Initially, we made a monitoring and examination plan to ensure the presence of non biodegradable bags in shops. We divided the whole area of LCB into four zones and formed four teams who were inspection the shopkeepers on regular basis. But the teams were facing issues in identifying biodegradable bags because it was difficult to say bags really were environment friendly or not. So, we have banned all kind of plastic bags in the area and instructed the shopkeepers and citizens to use only paper and jute bags”.