An interactive session of the Sub-Committee of the Senate of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on climate change, led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and accompanying Senators; Muhammad Ali Khan Saif and Dr. Asad Ashraf was held on April 30, 2019 at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) to raise awareness about the environmental and health impacts caused by plastic use. Huge numbers of audience representing; civil society, climate change activists, officials of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), academia and students representing various Universities in Islamabad attended the session. All seven campuses of the CUI participated through video link. After inaugural session, Prof. Arshad Saleem Bhatti, Dean Faculty of Sciences CUI, highlighted the problems caused by plastics in terms of their longevity in the environment and once entered in to the food chain, their implications on human and animal health, water bodies and whole ecosystem.
Senator Sayed elaborated the implementation plan of the clean and green Pakistan drive in the Universities and public schools in the first phase. He said that CUI was the first institution to respond to the parliamentary sub-committee call on this issue, when Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, Rector CUI affirmed his commitment for “Just Say no to plastics” campaign by COMSATS in April 2019, where faculty and students of CUI collected plastics and cleaned the area in Islamabad. Head of the sub-committee further elaborated their plans to make the federal capital plastic free by the end of this year. Moreover, legislative efforts done by the sub-committee towards achieving this goal were shared with audience. Afterwards, a lengthy interactive session took place during which questions and inputs were sought from the audience regarding implementation of the “plastic free capital campaign”. Audience input was marvellous to improve the campaign further and full support was extended by the participants. Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, the executive director of COMSATS in his address encouraged researchers to investigate and accelerate the efforts towards developing alternatives to plastic bags to get rid of the everlasting plastic from the federal Capital.