Zubair Qureshi Islamabad
Federal Secretary Ministry of Science & Technology Dr Nazir Akhtar called for sensitizing the general public about the hazardous effects of plastic waste on the environment and stressed the need for finding some plausible scientific solutions to the challenge.
Addressing as chief guest a panel discussion on “Plastic Waste Management—Challenges and Solutions” organized at National University of Science & Technology (NUST) on Wednesday the Federal Secretary termed it a global issue on which the environmental scientists across the globe should join hands and come up with some plausible solution to the hazards of plastic waste and its inadequate disposal.
The event, second in the row on the issue, was organized by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with UNESCO, UNDP, Global Water Challenge, Coca Cola Foundation and New World.
UNESCO Country Director Ms Patricia McPhilips, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative on Environment and Climate Change Unit Amanullah Khan and Director Communication Coca-Cola Foundation Pakistan Ms Aisha Sarwari participated in the panel discussion on the ways and means to effectively meet the challenges posed by the growing plastic waste.
The event was conducted by Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Dr. Shahid Mahmood Baig.
Federal Secretary Science and Technology hoped that the panelists would come up with direction for way forward on the issue and would give some practical solution to the issues like proper disposal of plastic waste, its recycling and to reduce its negative impact on the environment.
Taking part in the discussion UNESCO Country Director Ms Patricia McPhilips stressed the need for bringing behavioural change among masses on discouraging single use of disposable plastic at all levels.
She also called for evolving economically viable recycling facilities for plastic waste to make it climate friendly.
Referring to her visits to the rural areas of Pakistan she said she saw heaps of wastes around adding that in this connection UNESCO had conducted a baseline study of plastic waste in Islamabad and Ayubia National Park in collaboration of UNDP and WWF.
Taking part in the discussion UNDP Assistant Resident Representative on Environment and Climate Change Amanullah Khan said that they would be closely working with public and private stakeholders at national, regional and international levels to create awareness and develop sustainable solutions on effective waste management of plastic recycling.
He informed that the UNDP was working on a project to transform Rahim Yar Khan a zero plastic waste city, and the same model would be replicated in other cities across the country as well.
The Coca-Cola Foundation’s Director Communication Ms Aisha Sarwari said her organization was ready to support research projects on recycling and proper plastic waste management.
She agreed to Ms Patricia McPhilips’ point to bring about behavioral change among the people for effective control on plastic use and its proper disposal.
Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Dr. Shahid Mahmood Baig in his welcome address said that PSF was al-ready working on a series of programmes to sensitize the public on the hazards of plastic waste.
Particularly their focus remained on students and referred to the engagements of students in competitions aimed at highlighting the negative impact of plastic waste and how it could be recycled and properly disposed of.