Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Pakistan’s first ever research study (baseline scoping study) for plastic waste management, conducted by WWF-Pakistan with support of The Coca-Cola Foundation, was launched during a special ceremony on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Islamabad. Ms. Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change was the Guest of Honour.
This scoping study report is the outcome of a joint realization by Coca-Cola and WWF-Pakistan to map out Pakistan’s current plastic waste generation and management supply chain. And further, to identify current perceptions and opinions of key stakeholders with regards to plastic waste generation, segregation, collection and disposal. These include the informal sector comprising scavengers, junk dealers and recyclers; the formal waste collectors such as public and private waste management companies; the commercial sector comprising of hotels, educational institutes, restaurants; and lastly household consumers of PET bottles. Data was collected through interviews and survey questionnaire to analyze PET consumption, collection, disposal and recycling patterns in 10 selected cities across Pakistan. These included Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, Murree, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Gujranwala and Faisalabad.
This informative research aims to guide Government and environment related stakeholders in policy planning, so that the issue of plastic waste management can be addressed much more effectively. The study encourages PET bottles recycling as an effective solution to tackling Pakistan’s plastic waste pollution and also help create a circular economy of reusable plastic.
The event was also attended by Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Secretary at the Ministry of Climate Change, Fahad Ashraf, VP & General Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan region at The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Hammad Naqi Khan, CEO at WWF-Pakistan, Dr. Masood Arshad, Senior Director Water, Food & Climate at WWF-Pakistan, representatives from UNDP, CDA, GIZ, Federal Environment Protection Agency and members of Pakistan’s first plastic packaging alliance CoRe as guests.
While highlighting the importance of this report, Hammad Naqi Khan, CEO at WWF-Pakistan said, “8 million tonnes of plastics are dumped in the oceans every year. It is reported that if no action is taken, there could be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050. We need urgent action to stop the leakage of plastics into all water bodies. There is a dire need to formalize plastic recycling and bridge the gap between distributors and recyclers ensuring products are manufactured from responsibly sourced materials. It is therefore an extended producer responsibility to ensure that the waste is sustainably managed.”
Speaking at the occasion, Fahad Ashraf, VP and General Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan region at The Coca-Cola Export Corporation said, “In line with the growing concern of reducing packaging waste generation, The Coca-Cola Company launched in 2018 a bold and ambitious product packaging policy titled ‘World Without Waste’, whereby the Company pledged to lead the industry by helping to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells in the market by year 2030. While preparing to gear up on tackling plastic waste pollution in Pakistan there was a need to understand the current landscape of plastic waste management so challenges and opportunities can be effectively identified and policy making can effectively tackle plastic waste pollution to help create a sustainable future for all”.
The pioneering report will serve as an invaluable baseline for policy development in the waste management and recycling sector. Through this report Coca-Cola Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan have created awareness around waste segregation and disposal of plastics to provoke action by relevant stakeholders.