CDA and Oxfam conclude Beat Plastic Pollution campaign in Islamabad
Over 500 cloth bags were distributed by volunteers on the closing ceremony of Beat Plastic Pollution campaign organized by Oxfam in Pakistan in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Indus Consortium.
The concluding ceremony was held at the Friday Market Jummah Bazar on June 8, 2018.
Over 500 cloth bags were distributed by volunteers from Social ECHO Pakistan and university students. Oxfam’s campaign has concluded on a total distribution of 3000 cloth bags in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Lahore and Karachi.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Oxfam in Pakistan’s Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash said:
“This campaign was an effort to raise awareness about the hazards of plastic waste and provide practical solutions to address the problem. The campaign is an opportunity for each of us to embrace the many ways that we can help to combat plastic pollution around the world. Every individual can play their part – from asking the restaurants you frequent to stop using plastic straws, to bringing your own water bottle, to pressuring your local authorities to improve how they manage your city’s waste. Let us foster a global movement to protect our environment.”
Despite the intense heat, volunteers shared tips on plastic reduction with those shopping at the Friday market.
The lead of Social ECHO Jawad said, “Using an excessive amount of single-use plastics in our daily lives is devastating the environment. Nearly one third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting the environment.”
The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the Earth four times in a single year, and it can persist for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates. The simplest plastic normally used in grocery store bags takes at least 100 years to break down while the complex ones take up to 600 years or beyond to decompose.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade – breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.
Indus Consortium’s National Coordinator Hussain Jarwar said:
“Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leaks into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife. We hope this campaign makes people realize that paper and plastic bags both come at great cost to the environment and will start carrying reusable bags with them instead.”
Apart from cloth bag distributions, the campaign also had tree plantations and plant distributions in Multan, Lahore, Badin, Jamshoro and Karachi. Clean up drives and awareness walks were held in Karachi and Lahore.
The beat plastic pollution campaign was positively supported by Pakistan’s media that ran public service messages on local radio stations and aired TV talk shows to raise awareness on the hazards of plastic.