MIRPUR (AJK)-The AJK Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has kicked off an integrated campaign across the state to encourage the use of biodegradable shopping bags to avert threats of negative impacts of the use of normal shopping bags to human body, livestock and environment as whole.

AJK EPA Director General Raja Muhammad Razzaq told this Correspondent here on Saturday after conducting a surprise inspection to local market. He was accompanied by EPA Divisional Director Sardar Idrees Mahmood and other senior officials.

During visit to market, the EPA DG inquired about and assessed the use of environmental-friendly shopping bags in the open market.

The team visited the market in Mirpur City and apart from conducting lab tests of Plastic bags being sold in the market. They also interacted with shopkeepers for switching over to biodegradable bags with immediate effect.

On the occasion, Raja Razzaq said that the EPA has enforced Zero tolerance policy for the use of non-Oxo biodegradable plastic shopping bags and has warned the shopkeepers to switch over the environment-friendly shopping bags sooner than later. “As this menace, besides adversely contributing towards environmental deterioration, has also become a continuous source of health hazards for the human beings as well as terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity”, the environmental expert observed.