ISLAMABAD: Tackling plastic waste is the top priority of the government, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said on Thursday.

He urged multinational and national companies to come forward and support the government in creating a real difference.

Mr Aslam was speaking at an event wherein the largest plastic waste collection and recycling initiative was launched under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ programme.

Under the project, PepsiCo through its partnership with Green Earth Recycling (GER) and WWF-Pakistan will collect 4,750 tonnes (4.75 million kgs) of plastic waste and focus on recycling it in purposeful ways. The campaign will enable local companies to produce numerous types of utility products including waste bins, benches, tables, chairs and so on.

WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi said: “We all collectively, as a society must come together to tackle waste created by plastics. This initiative is a great example of how every pillar of society can play such a role.”

Currently, no formal infrastructure for waste collection and recycling exists in Pakistan, henceforth the initiative will test various models of waste collection; these include, direct sourcing of waste from consumers, segregating plastic waste from existing waste dumps and experimenting with technology-based waste collection initiatives.

The project will also focus on developing a sustainable and economic model for collecting and reusing plastic waste and achieving its waste collection targets.

PepsiCo Afghanistan and Pakistan CEO Furqan Ahmed Syed said he envisions a world where plastic need never become waste, adding: “Our approach to protecting the environment goes beyond tackling the issue of plastic waste. We are particularly concerned about climate change and this month we have doubled down on our global commitments towards climate change.

We are targeting a reduction of absolute greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across our value chain by more than 40pc by 2030. In addition, we have pledged net zero emissions by 2040 – this is one decade earlier than called by the Paris Agreement,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2021

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