The Afghanistan National Public Health Association (ANPHA) launched “Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign on April 3r 2013. The goal  of the campaign was to raise the awareness of the Afghan population  regarding  the health and environmental impact of the use of plastic bags.

At the opening ceremony for the campaign, Dr. Abdul Alim Atarud, President of ANPHA talked about the goals and objectives of the campaign. Dr. Atarud stated  that the use of plastic bags has a  negative impacts on  the health of human being and the environment in general. He  advocated t for s regulations  on  the r use of plastic bags, especially  for  carrying hot food. He emphasized that  the  use of  cloth bags  will ensure a better environment. Dr. Atarud thanked the leadership of MoPH for their  support and  for considering the  policy level recommendations  of ANPHA in public health issues  affecting thef Afghanistan health sector.

The campaign was officially inaugurated by Dr. Suraya Dalil, Minister of Public Health where she stated her  appreciation  of  the efforts of ANPHA in raising public  awareness of  public health issues. Minister Dalil encouraged the public to use cloth made bags instead of plastic bags for carrying goods, especially hot food and bread.

In the last part of the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Shafiq Mirzazada, Vice President of ANPHA, talked about  the negative impacts of plastic bags on human health and the environment. Dr. Mirzazada stated that the  absorption of plastic in soil takes several hundred years which  eventually has negative impacts on the  health of human beings, plants and animals.

At the end of the   ceremony, ANPHA members distributed cloth bags with the message of “plastic bags pollutes your environment, but I do not” to the leadership of Ministry of Public Health, participants and the public audience.. In addition, ANPHA members targeted local bakeries  to  raise their awareness about the harmful effects of plastic bags and encouraged them not to use plastic bags when selling bread to the public. I Cloth bags and , brochures were also distributed to the public and billboards were displayed in various part of the City.