During a UN environment meeting, Pakistan unveiled its ambitious strategy to establish zero plastic waste cities along the Indus River, marking a significant step in combatting the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.

Munir Akram, Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, presented the comprehensive plan as a vital aspect of the broader ‘Living Indus Initiative’ aimed at addressing the pressing environmental threat posed by plastic waste in urban areas.

The event, convened at the UN headquarters to commemorate the International Day of Zero Waste, highlighted Pakistan's commitment to tackling plastic pollution at a regional level.

As part of the initiative, zero plastic waste cities will be developed in strategic urban centers along the Indus Basin, including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Multan, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta.

Ambassador Akram underscored the alarming magnitude of waste generation in Pakistan, with the country producing a staggering 30 million tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, of which 10 to 14 percent is deemed hazardous.

Furthermore, Pakistan receives approximately 80,000 tonnes of hazardous waste from various global sources annually, exacerbating environmental challenges.

Highlighting the severity of the plastic waste crisis, Ambassador Akram revealed that Pakistan generates 3.9 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, with a significant portion remaining inadequately managed. Alarmingly, around 164,332 tonnes of plastic waste are discharged into the sea annually through the Indus River system, posing a severe threat to marine ecosystems.

In response, Pakistan has implemented proactive measures, including the formulation of the National Hazardous Waste Management Policy in 2022, to address environmental concerns effectively.

Ambassador Akram reiterated Pakistan's steadfast support for a UN-led initiative, advocating for an inter-governmentally binding treaty on plastic pollution to enhance international cooperation and combat the global challenge of plastic waste pollution.

Written By Web Desk

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