ISLAMABAD - The vegetables and fruits market (Sabzi Mandi) in sector I-11 of the capital is proliferating with plastic bags where the Ministry of Climate Change has asked the market committee representatives to comply within a week.

Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Hammad Shamimi said that the ministry had held a secretary level meeting to discuss the issue with the market committee chairman and members.

Secretary MoCC Hassan Nasir Jamy had chaired the meeting which was also attended by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation and Capital Development Authority officials. The delegation said that most of the goods were reaching the market from other provinces where plastic bags were not banned, he added.

“The secretary has made it clear on behalf of the ministry that no comprise would be made on plastic bags prohibition where the market committee members have agreed to abide by the law implemented on restricting the use of plastic bags within a week,” he said. This was not to be taken as an extension in the ban for the Sabzi Mandi vendors as they had to comply with the law being imposed, he added.

Shamimi said that there had been 97 percent to 98 percent compliance of plastic bags ban in the federal capital. “Even in Bara Kahu and Simli Dam areas the shopkeepers and general public are fully abiding by the ban on plastic bags. I visited the F-10 and F-11 shopping markaz where the shopkeepers said that they have shunned the use of plastic bags as the ministry’s officials are strictly monitoring the situation.

The people also abstain from taking goods in plastic bags and if they found any they take photographs and call it a violence of the law being imposed by the government in the federal capital,” he added.

Sitwatullah, a vegetables seller in the Sabzi Mandi, said, “We need to know about alternatives to plastic bags first and then we could avoid using the plastic bags in the federal capital.” To a question, he said that there should a practical and viable solution to this as there was a huge consumption of plastic bags in the market on daily basis.