KARACHI: Pakistan Economy Forum has invited attention of the Customs authorities towards the recent destruction of waste scrap consignments of hazardous waste polythene shopping bags imported by unscrupulous elements in violation of the Import Policy Order.
“These consignments of banned waste polythene bags were rather ought to be re-exported at the cost of importers or the shipping lines,” Sharjeel Jamal Vice Chairman Pakistan Economy Forum said in an application to Chief Collector Appraisement South.
Polythene shopping bags being hazardous waste have been banned in terms of Section 19 of Import Policy Order, 2016 in order to avoid environmental pollution, choking of drains, and risks to the health of citizens associated with the use of these waste polythene or plastic bags.
However, some unscrupulous importers in collusion with the shipping lines are importing waste polythene shopping bags under the garb of scrap from different countries and they have conspired to shift the waste of different countries into Pakistan. Due to this malpractice, the national economy is also suffering from colossal financial losses on account of port congestion
Pakistan Economy Forum noted that MCC Appraisement (West) Karachi has recently ordered destruction of approximately 600 containers having about 18,000 metric tons of waste of polythene bags in the territory of Pakistan in violation of the law quoted above.
Pakistan Economy Forum has sought clarification from the Customs authorities that how come destruction of polythene waste has been ordered without taking any action against the importers and shipping lines; whether Customs authorities have complete examination reports of each container; and what is the present policy about the fate of the pending containers having banned item of waste polythene bags.
Sources said Pakistan had become dumping ground for hazardous waste. More importantly these waste polythene bags are being sold in the market causing serious threats to the environment. It was known that over a 1000 such containers are lying at various ports including Port Qasim, KICT, PICT and NLC etc.