The provincial governments in their greed, forget that every decision has a backlash, and their decision to use non-recyclable and synthetic packaging for food grains is regrettable. Many countries have now banned the usage of these dangerous non-recyclable and synthetic methods of packaging in order to gain the ‘green credit’ for their respective countries which is very important in the world order. A large number of polypropylene bags are being procured by the Punjab and Sindh governments every year, while the findings of PCSIR and several warnings from environmentalists are utterly ignored in this acquisition process. Not only do these synthetic bags cause spoilage of thousands of tons of wheat but they are also known for containing deadly elements such as lead, cadmium, chromium, copper zinc and nickel which intoxicate the food items stored in them and cause acute and sub-acute poisoning and skin reactions in certain climates, making these bags unhealthy.
The limited reuse capability of poly bags is also burdening the environment, with as much as 6 times of the normal amount of shopping bags needed to satisfy the requirement in the absence of bulk handling facilities. The government of Pakistan is requested to implement a legislation that should make alternative environmental and human friendly packaging mandatory for food grain storage which will mitigate the risk of contamination and preserve the environment. It is important for Pakistan to make progress and this is one way of doing it.
ABU BAKAR KAREEM,
Karachi, July 28.