The Environmental Protection Agency of Pakistan published in the gazette on July 25, 2019, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Ban on (Manufacturing, Import, Sale, Purchase, Storage, and Usage) Polythene Bags Regulations, 2019, a set of regulations banning all polythene bags in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The regulations came into effect immediately. The main contents of the regulations are as follows.
- Total ban on actions including manufacture and import: All manufacture, import and wholesale trading of polythene bags shall be totally banned immediately in ICT.
- Total ban on actions including sale, purchase, and use: All sale, purchase, supply, trade, storage, distribution and use of polythene bags shall be totally banned from August 14th, 2019.
- Exemptions: Notwithstanding the regulations above, the Federal Agency may allow the manufacture, import, or use of new polythene bags intended for the purposes including industrial packaging, municipal waste packaging, hospital waste packaging, and hazardous waste packaging.
- Recycling plan: Manufacturers or importers shall develop and maintain a recycling plan for polythene bags under the principal of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
- Recycling program report: Manufacturers or importers shall submit a report on the implementation of the recycling program for the previous calendar year.
- Labeling: Even if new polythene bags are exceptionally approved, the manufacturers or importers shall print and label the bags with their name and contact details.
- Prohibition on direct purchase: Even if new polythene bags are exceptionally approved, no user shall purchase the bags directly from manufacturers or importers for the purpose including use in ICT unless the manufacturers or importers are authorized by the Federal Agency.
- Records keeping: Any person who manufactures or imports exceptionally approved new polythene bags shall keep records of the quantity manufactured or imported.
- Administrative penalty: Violators shall be subject to administrative penalties.
- Repeal of old Regulations: The Prohibition of Non-degradable Plastic Products (manufacturing, sale and usage) Regulations 2013 are hereby repealed.
The Regulations are available at the following URL.