Green Business – Pakistan
An effort to get Pakistanis to make Earth-friendly changes in their daily lives is reducing the use
of plastic bags. The “Green Business” project facilitates cloth bag production among
marginalized women in two cities, giving them work while tackling the problem of plastic
- 97 members
- 15 women have started green businesses
- Reducing use of one plastic bag prevents emission of 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent
Pakistan faces a multitude of environmental problems, including pollution from solid waste. This is linked
to citizens’ routine behaviors and their attitudes towards society, their homes and workplaces
and the natural environment. In addition to environmental problems, a great majority of women in Pakistan
are underemployed. This is due, among other factors, to discrimination and cultural expectations for women
to stay in the home.
The “Green Business” project is providing stay-at-home women with the basic tools to
manufacture cloth bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Women in the outskirts of Islamabad and
Rawalpindi who already know how to sew and have sewing machines were provided with cloth and instructed how
to produce the bags. Citizens are then urged to use the cloth bags instead of getting a new plastic bag
whenever they purchase something.
Helping the planet
Plastic bags present a serious disposal problem: It takes centuries for them to break down in nature,
burning them releases poisonous chemicals and plastic trash in oceans harms numerous marine species. They
end up littering cities that lack proper waste management systems. Since plastic bags are made from
petroleum, they also fuel extraction of fossil resources. Reusable cloth bags, in contrast, prevent oil
extraction, preserve natural resources, prevent further climate change, and address cities’ litter
The women who have started small-scale manufacturing of cloth bags at home have gained a new way to make
money. For some women, this is their only source of income, as their husbands do not allow them to leave
the house. As people switch to using cloth instead of plastic bags, they will also enjoy cleaner cities.
The cloth bag business scheme is part of a greater environmental campaign called “Ain Amal”. This public awareness campaign encourages average
Pakistanis to help solve environmental problems by taking simple steps like wasting less water, putting
litter in its proper place and supporting greener home and work spaces. Promoting cloth bags gives the
campaign momentum toward its goal of changing mindsets and mentalities to think in a more earth-friendly
Images owned by the activity partners, all rights reserved.