Pakistan goes plastic-free on Independence Day

Zartaj Gul, state minister for climate change announced in a press conference held in Islamabad on July 23, 2019 that single use of plastic bags will be banned in the federal capital effective August 14, Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day. (PID)
Updated 15 August 2019

Pakistan goes plastic-free on Independence Day

  • 55 billion plastic bags are used in the country every year
  • Ban to help reduce harmful impact on the environment

ISLAMABAD: Single-use plastic bags will be banned in the federal capital from August 14, on the occasion of Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day, as part of an initiative undertaken by the government and keeping in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s plans to make the country greener.
Pakistan is the 128th country to stop the use of the non-biodegradable material made from various type of polymers that are harmful to the environments.
“We are banning (single-use) plastic bags in Pakistan, especially our capital territory, and after we implement it on August 14, we want to replicate the (ban) across Pakistan,” Zartaj Gul, State Minister for Climate Change told Arab News after distributing reusable bags to promote the initiative.
“We want Pakistan to be plastic-free because it is a burden on our environment,” Gul said, adding that Pakistan wanted to demonstrate to the world that it is “contributing to green initiatives” because it is the most “vulnerable country (due to its ability to adapt to adverse effects of greenhouse gases) and is ranked number seven on the index of climate change”.
According to the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (EPA), 55 billion single-use plastic bags are used every year. The objective of the ban is to reduce litter and trash, remove hard to recycle plastic bags from the solid waste system, and protect the environment.
The ban, under the new regulation of Environmental Protection Act 1997, will impact all retailers, vendors, manufacturers, traders, and commercial users of plastic bags. However, the EPA will grant concessions for specific use flat bags used by industries and for waste collection.
Commending the move, several environmentalists urged the government to run awareness campaigns to educate the public which is highly dependent on the use of plastic bags across the country.
“We need to hold advocacy sessions; we need to highlight the issue in order to tackle the looming crisis of plastic pollution,” Noreen Fatima, an environmental researcher working at the National Institute of Maritime Affairs told Arab News, explaining the dangers of using plastic.
“It is impacting our environment, including our marine life, causing air pollution and disease and the main dilemma is that it is not biodegradable,” she said.


Pakistan Property Show Dubai a 'source of pride' for expats, says property tycoon

Updated 39 min ago

Pakistan Property Show Dubai a 'source of pride' for expats, says property tycoon

  • Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, Zameen.com CEO tells Arab News
  • The two-day event provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options

DUBAI: Pakistan’s economic reforms and tax implementation scheme have benefitted genuine buyers and developed their trust in the country’s real estate market, a senior property expert told Arab News on Friday.
Zeeshan Ali Khan, CEO of Zameen.com, said that despite the global economic downturn in the property business, there was still an opportunity for buyers in Pakistan.
Khan was speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the two-day Pakistan Property Show (PPS) that kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Center on December 6.
He said that while bulk buying was not happening, buyers in the Gulf states were still interested in the property market of his country.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan at the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

The event in Dubai has offered overseas Pakistanis a chance to explore rewarding investment opportunities available in some of the most reliable and promising real estate projects.
In addition, since the exhibition features projects from several major cities of Pakistan, it provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options.
Khan said that taking the property exhibition to an international level was a tough undertaking in the beginning, though he added that the PPS had gradually acquired its own brand recognition.
“The success story of this event is a source of pride for Pakistanis living in the Gulf,” he said.
“Increasing investment opportunities in the property sector is vital for setting the sector on track to progress, and the main objective of organizing such events is to circulate money in the investment sector, which, in turn, will benefit the overall economy of Pakistan,” he continued.
“The World Trade Center holds its own exclusive status in terms of trade and investment activities in the region where only the best corporates and business entities can stage their activities, and for a Pakistan-based company to organize such a grand event there is definitely a matter of national pride,” Khan noted.
He also highlighted the fact that most of the online traffic Zameen.com received was from Pakistani expatriates residing in the Gulf countries.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan particpating in the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

“The event thus offers great opportunities to Pakistanis living here to make solid, safe and rewarding investments in reliable real estate developments.”
Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Dubai, inaugurated the event.
“I have seen a lot of [Pakistani] companies offering unique projects, sharing data and knowledge from Pakistan to Dubai and Dubai to Pakistan,” he said while interacting with various exhibitors and senior management of Zameen.com.
“Today there are no borders for investment and real estate is the biggest investment that everybody is looking for,” he added.
The PPS 2019 featured the biggest names from Pakistan’s most urban centers, such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Murree, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Raheem Yar Khan, Gwadar, Bahawalpur and DG Khan.
In the last two editions of the event, the property extravaganza attracted a combined audience of over 31,000. Prominent names among this year’s exhibitors included “Eighteen” and “Capital Smart City.”
The show is organized by Zameen.com and this is the company’s third consecutive annual property exhibition event in Dubai.
Zameen.com has so far held a total of 17 major property exhibitions in different countries, attracting over a million visitors.