ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s civil aviation watchdog has ordered all air travellers to have their checked baggage shrink-wrapped, drawing scorn and criticism from frequent flyers and environmentalists.
Shahrukh Nusrat, director-general of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said Sunday wrapping baggages was now “mandatory”, and it was being done for “safety” purposes.
Passengers would have to pay 50 rupees (about US$0.31) per bag for the wrapping, Nusrat said in a statement.
“For this purpose, new plastic-wrapping machines are being installed on an urgent basis,” he added.
Pakistan’s frequent flyers cast scorn on the edict, suggesting it had been introduced to enrich an unnamed company tasked with doing the wrapping.
“What is the logic for this requirement …if this isn’t legalized corruption,” one angry traveller tweeted.
It’s not about how thin or thick the plastic is 🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️
Does the CAA not have an HSE dept mandated to conduct impact assessments? Or have those procedures been waived for this corrupt profit-making endeavour? Seriously shameful stuff #plasticpollution #plasticpakistan https://t.co/uN5n1M2doJ
— Asif Nawaz Shah (@asifnshah) July 20, 2019
Asif Nawaz Shah, another social media critic, called the new policy a “corrupt profit-making endeavour”.
Others suggested the quantity of plastic that would be needed was wasteful.
Why is the #CAA destroying the #environment the #PM @ImranKhanPTI @PTIofficial have said save the #country its #seas #rivers #livestock #SayNoToPlastic so why has this notification been issued it must be #withdrawn @aminattock pic.twitter.com/iiW4m9XwYq
— Ayesha Tammy Haq (@tammyhaq) July 20, 2019
“Why is the #CAA destroying the #environment,” tweeted Ayesha Tammy Haq, a lawyer and broadcast journalist.
Luggage-wrapping machines are a feature at many airports in Pakistan — and elsewhere in the world — but are usually used by passengers to prevent theft by light-fingered baggage handlers.