I am alarmed by the increasing threat that climate change and other industrially-caused environmental damage entail and recognize those powerful actions should be taken to reverse the causes and address the consequences.

I recommend my Riphah University for its decision to eliminate the use of all single-use plastic water and soft drink bottles on campus, including in eateries and vending machines. Riphah estimates that her decision will result in saving 1 million bottles during the four years of experience in a graduation course. It is heart-warming to see Riphah at the forefront of tackling the plastic pollution crisis in our country.

I am pleased that the government is also about to take action to reduce plastic waste. We will soon consider senators who would require it plastic producers to take their responsibility for collecting and recycling their plastic; require an Rs100 national deposit for reimbursed beverage containers upon their return; prohibit lightweight plastic bags, cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers; and increase the use of recycled material in new containers.

I hope that this important legislative proposal can provide dual support, because strong measures must be taken to reverse and tackle the effects of climate change.

I would like to encourage other colleges to follow Riphah’s guidance. The future of our planet depends on those who acknowledge the challenge and act now.