Plastic pollution

Published June 26, 2017

FEW issues facing the globe are of such urgency as tackling environmental pollution. From climate to the food we eat, our very existence is impacted by it. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, the unabated dumping of plastic products in the waters off the coast has become a serious threat to marine animals and to plants that are native to offshore waters. To illustrate the spread of pollutants, the organisation reported that a needlefish caught a couple of days ago 270km south of Karachi was stuck in the handle of a plastic cup. Studies carried out by the WWF-P show that on beaches such as Clifton, plastic contributes up to 50pc of beached garbage. However, it seems only the KP government assigns environmental pollution the importance that it deserves, and is taking measures to address it. The provincial environmental protection agency on Tuesday issued a notification banning the manufacture of non-biodegradable products across KP.

The world is reaching a critical stage where environmental pollution is concerned — some would even argue we have crossed the tipping point. While Pakistan, in global terms, figures far down on the list of contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste, our disposal mechanisms of the solid waste that we produce and how we dispose of it has dire, ongoing implications for our quality of life. Non-biodegradable plastics leach harmful carcinogens, among other lethal substances into the soil, polluting our sub-soil water and increasing the health burden on the country’s already overburdened health sector. When plastics are ingested by marine life, including by plankton — the lowest rung on the food chain — many of the toxins ultimately end up inside humans. According to a reputable organisation working on global environmental issues, there are over five trillion plastic pieces afloat at sea. Forward-thinking, civilised societies dispose of their waste responsibly and are increasingly switching to the use of biodegradable products. Other provinces should take a leaf out of KP’s book.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
09 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

IT is a sad commentary on the politics of the Middle East that even its most tragic human stories get defaced and...
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...
An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...