The government of Pakistan has directed all international and domestic airlines to stop the use of single-use plastic in flights to and from Pakistan. The information which is not but surfaced yesterday was shared by the Aviation Division during a routine committee meeting at Parliament House. The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change was told by Abdul Sattar Khokhar senior joint secretary of Aviation Division. The directive was initially issued on 21 June 2019.
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He told the committee that “we have given directives to airlines that they cannot use plastic cutlery in the flights as we want to stop the use of plastic. Moreover, it is observed that the cutlery is packed in plastic sacks so we have also directed them to ensure that the cutlery should be wrapped in paper rather than in polythene,”.
This directive was sent to the airlines in August when the ban on plastic bags was enforced in Islamabad. But the status of its implementation at other stations is not clear because there are no such bans in place there. China Southern airline asked the Aviation Division “that under which law should it stop the use of plastic cutlery?” To which the aviation division referred the airline to Basel Convention.
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent the transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). As of October 2018, 186 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention. Haiti and the United States have signed the Convention but not ratified it.
A new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1997, proposing a ban on polythene bags in the federal capital, was introduced in June this year and Aug 14 was the cut-off date. The regulation is called “Pak-EPA Ban on (Manufacturing, Import, Sale, Purchase, Storage and Usage) Polythene Bags Regulations, 2019” and extended to the Islamabad Capital Territory. Later, other provinces also started following the federal capital and are in the process of banning the use of plastic bags.