According to Islamabad, the decision to ban Islamic plastic bags that are discarded after being used is a real step for the future. People in the plastic bag industry, however, said that the way the government did this bans has cost millions of people their jobs.

People working at plastic factories held a protest march in Islamabad on Wednesday with posters with slogans against the government. They claim that more than 8,000 factories have been closed in Punjab because of the ban.

"I can't even afford two meals a day," a worker who was unemployed told SAMAA TV.

More than 200 people worked in a factory, said Ajmal Baloch, president of Tajaran in Pakistan. Then there were the sellers, he said. They've all lost their jobs now, he said.

The factory owners said those who placed the ban did not listen to them.

"What should we do with the expensive machinery we put in our factories," asked a person whose factory was closed. "At least they should have given us some time."

He told authorities he wanted to start producing biodegradable bags manufactured by other factories. "However, they asked us to close our factories just like that without giving us time."

Related: the airports in Pakistan to dispose of plastic shopping bags

Plastic bags have been banned in the federal capital since August 14 as part of Prime Minister Green Imran Khan's Clean Green Pakistan campaign. 

Following the ban, producers could be fined R500,000, while sellers could be fined R50,000, and people who saw plastic bags could be fined up to R5,000.

The Ministry of Climate Change has claimed to have seized nearly 2.5 million polythene bags as part of the crackdown on the use of plastic bags in the capital. The government, along with some non-governmental organizations, has even distributed all the bags among the people to use.

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