LAHORE, July 11: Despite being a signatory to Ban Amendment of Basel Convention, the United Kingdom has dumped more than 600,000 kilograms of potentially hazardous plastic scrap in Pakistan during June 2013.

Approximately 2,100 metric tons of potentially hazardous plastic scrap was released from different dry ports of Lahore, Islamabad and Multan during the last month, said a source in the Inland Revenue Service.

Lahore again topped the list of ports clearing potentially hazardous imported scrap as 85 per cent was released from different dry ports of the Punjab capital, 14 per cent from Islamabad and two per cent from Multan dry port.

The source said after China and Malaysia tightened their plastic scrap rules, Pakistan has been facing influx of European plastic scrap. “If we don’t implement the law, Pakistan is likely to become the favourite dumping ground of European origin plastic scrap. Out of total import in June, some 28 per cent arrived from the United Kingdom and 26 per cent from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The remaining scrap was dumped by different Middle Eastern countries,” said the source.

Quoting data, the source said that from January to June this year Pakistan has ‘imported’ over 15,500 metric tons of plastic scrap out of which approximately 65 per cent was from Middle Eastern countries only. From 2011 to date, Pakistan has ‘imported’ over 85,000 tons of plastic scrap.

Some 38 per cent of scrap import has been from OECD and EU countries, including Belgium and UK that have ratified the Ban Amendment, and according to Basel Convention, cannot export hazardous product to developing countries like Pakistan which neither have any proper recycling facilities nor have strict government mechanism to control the menace of hazardous plastic scrap.

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