Pakistan to become a Plastic-Free Country

In order to make the country plastic-free, Pakistan has taken a historical step and has the honor of being the first South Asian country to join the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP). This will help to contribute to Clean and Green Pakistan.  

The current government has taken the environmental challenges seriously. They took measures to fight climate change by introducing environment-friendly policies. MoUs and collaborations have been signed for different partnerships. For example, they carpeted the entire road with plastic in Islamabad. In order to make the country plastic-free, Pakistan has taken a historical step and has the honor of being the first South Asian country to join the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP). This will help to contribute to Clean and Green Pakistan.

Plastic is poison to nature. Most of our products have plastic as an ingredient. It not only destroys natural landscapes but is dangerous to human health too. In recent years, as tourism has expanded, the natural beauty of the northern areas is being destroyed by the plastic that the tourists have dispensed.

Pakistan’s Waste Accumulation

If we measure the height of waste accumulated by Pakistan, it has a height of 16500 km, which is equivalent to two K2 mountains. 65% of the total waste is plastic. According to the statistics released by the Government, 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per week, mostly from major cities such as Karachi.

Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP)

In a great initiative, Pakistan has joined hands with World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) to fight plastic pollution. Pakistan is also the fifth country ‘to adopt the model designed to create transformative, system-change shifts to the circular economy and eradicate plastic waste pollution.’

National Plastic Action Partnership NPAP

The fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5) is just around the corner, where plastic pollution will be the center of the agenda this year. The Ministry of Climate Change, with the help of the Global Plastic Action Plan, will launch the National Plastic Action Partnership. We already implemented this platform in Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam, and Nigeria.

The NPAP aims to create a framework for plastics to be led by locals ‘to bring together the country’s most influential policy-makers, business leaders, and civil society to frame a common approach.’ The mission of the group will deliver ‘a national action plan for radically reducing plastic pollution and connect high-potential solutions with strategic financing opportunities.’

Circular Economy Approach

Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Minister for Climate Change and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister said “We look towards a future where Pakistan has reduced the leakage of plastic waste in the Indus River Basin by at least 50% by 2030 through a ‘whole of society’ approach. To enable this vision, we are committed to embracing the circular economy approach in Pakistan holistically and sustainably that is attentive to the needs of all who are involved in this plastics chain. This is in complete synergy with our mandate to mainstream environment and climate change in the economically and socially vulnerable sectors of the economy and to steer Pakistan towards enabling climate-resilient development. We know that the road to tackling plastic pollution is a long and challenging one, and we hope that the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) will become a point of convergence for action and innovation in the sector, and enable real, lasting impact.”

Clean and Green Pakistan Index

In recent years, Pakistan has taken measures to handle the country’s plastic pollution issue. The Clean and Green Pakistan Index results from these measures. The aim of this is ‘to establish a comprehensive framework for healthier, cleaner cities, single-use plastics bans, promoting awareness, visible partnerships with local and international organizations focusing on tackling waste and recycling.’

Zero Waste Future

Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith, Minister for Pacific and the Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said, “The UK is delighted to support the launch of Pakistan’s partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP). It is inspiring to see Pakistan’s leadership and ambition on accelerating action towards a circular plastics economy and reducing the threat of plastic pollution in Pakistan. I look forward to working with Pakistan and further partners across the GPAP network to take collective, tangible steps towards achieving a zero-waste future.”

Christian Turner congratulates Pakistan

Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said, “I congratulate Pakistan for launching the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP).” He urged that the government and individuals should contribute to a better Pakistan. He stated serious efforts were being made about coal, cars, nature, and finance during the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. “Pakistan is also grappling with growing plastic pollution, which is expected to double from 4 million tons today to 8 million tons by 2050. The delegation from Pakistan showed global leadership on climate change by signing up to improve the natural habitat.” He said that Pakistan needs to manage its plastic waste as it is damaging the beautiful landscapes.

Kristen Hughes welcomes Pakistan’s effort

Kristen Hughes, Director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum, said, “We are thrilled that Pakistan has partnered with GPAP to drive forward the country’s plastic action agenda. Pakistan has the potential to drastically reduce, if not eradicate, its plastic pollution problem, one that is based on a mutual desire to adopt more sustainable and circular models that can benefit the economic, social, health, and environmental priorities of the country. We are confident that through a strong emphasis on these priorities, such as by using metrics to set, measure and achieve ambitious targets, and fostering local innovation and expertise, this partnership will serve as a model for success.”

Clean and Green Pakistan is the only way to a healthy and clean environment. We look forward to implementing these action plans and urge the individuals to play their part as responsible citizens.

Written by Shaheer Ahmed


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