ISLAMABAD, Mar 29 (APP):Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said the total mass of plastic waste generated in Pakistan was equal to the size of two K-2 mountains.
The federal minister was addressing Policy Dialogue organized by SDPI and UNEP titled “Exploring the Potential of Circular Economy in Pakistan”.
Senator Rehman said that Pakistan was one of the top 10 countries affected by environmental degradation. “33 million people in the country were affected by the floods. We have never seen such a huge destruction caused by climate change,” she added.
The Minister said that Pakistan’s major stakeholders would have to be involved in controlling waste management.
Another challenge, she said the country is facing is its dwindling water reserves. “We have a system of rivers which is the lifeline of Pakistan. Natural calamity floods have badly affected the economy of Pakistan with a loss of its 9 percent GDP.”
Unmanaged waste, she said is a major problem in Pakistan, whereas the Ministry has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Ministry of Climate Change had launched the Living Indus Initiative, Sherry Rehman said.
“Recycling of plastic and various things is being done all over the world. Pakistan also needs recycling centers. However, the provinces are now exporting equipment that is used in recycling,” she added.
The Minister said that she was in office for the past 11 months but still she had not gotten the data related to plastic.
“The ocean is full of more waste material than fish. Everyone has to do their own responsibility. We need a policy to control plastic waste that is in practice,” she added.
In his opening remarks, Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said Circular Economy Emphasis should be placed on reducing waste, recycling materials to reduce environmental impact.
The importance of reusing products should be emphasized, he said.
The Executive Director said that there was need to establish an announcement of public and private sector engagement of research, policy to establish own network on circular economy.
He said for connecting with SMEs, public and private sectors and industries to promote a just transition to a circular economy will be supported by the SDPI.
He said that the SDPI would launch a “National Report on the Status of Circular Economy in Pakistan, adding that the SDPI would also work to launch a report on “Efficiency of Circular Economy in Pakistan”.