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Biodegradable shopping bags being introduced in Swat

MINGORA: Water and Sanitation Services Company (WSSC) on Tuesday launched a campaign to get rid of plastic bags and introduced biodegradable shopping bags to shopkeepers in Mingora Bazaar here.

WSSC chief executive Sheda Mohammad, assistant commissioner Shahab Khan, TMO Hayat Shah, tehsil nazim Ikram Khan and other officials took part in the campaign, visiting each shop and vendor in the bazaar to introduce the newly-manufactured bags.

The officials also led an awareness walk against the use of plastic bags through the bazaar.

The officials said as the plastic bags were non-biodegradable they not only affected the environment negatively but also defaced the surroundings.

“The plastic bags also block the drains and create environmental hazards. The excessive use of plastic bags and other materials made of plastic has ruined the beauty of Mingora and created chaos in the city,” said the WSSC chief executive.

He pointed out that solid waste production of Mingora was about 350 tons daily and the excessive use of plastic bags added to the problem.

“The society must cooperate to ensure use of biodegradable bags thus doing away with the plastic bags,” he appealed.

“The district administration is keen on replacing the non-biodegradable plastic bags with the biodegradable bags in Swat and I am sure if all the stakeholders cooperated in the campaign very soon we will get rid of the big issue,” AC Shahab Khan, who was leading the campaign, stressed.

He said the district administration was taking steps to improve the cleanliness situation of Mingora. He asked mediapersons to help create awareness among masses to make the campaign a success.

TMO Hayat Shah said Mingora city had two big streams but the shopkeepers, especially those dealing in chicken, eggs and fish along with hotel and restaurant owners, threw garbage in the streams which distorted the beauty of the city.

“Many times we asked them to collect their trash and put it in front of their shops and hotels to be removed by WSSC workers in the morning, but to no avail,” he regretted and asked them to cooperate with the administration, or face legal action.

According to the administration officials, initially the new bags will be provided to traders free of cost.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2017

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