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Controlling Plastic Waste in Pakistan

The Basel Convention plastic waste amendments require participating countries to pay attention to the plastic waste trade, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC). While passed in 2019, it lacks implementation in South Asia. Pakistan in particular struggles to implement it and remains a major importer of PVC waste. Anecdotal evidence suggests that low implementation is related to multiple political and socio-economic reasons, but this remains to be verified. To enhance Pakistan’s capacity in implementing the Basel Amendments, it is important to scientifically verify the factors related to the low implementation and develop relevant evidence-based policy solutions. In this project, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), a public sector university, is collaborating with Engro Foundation, the non-profit arm of Engro Corporation, and Engro Polymer, the polyvinyl chloride resin manufacturing subsidiary of Engro Corporation.

This project proposes to enhance the Pakistani government’s capacity to implement Basel Amendments. This project will use a transdisciplinary approach to understand the socio-economic and political factors that lead to low implementation of Basel Amendments. It will conduct a value chain analysis, social network analysis, and policy coherence study to identify these factors. The project will use these research outputs to conduct workshops with government stakeholders and help them to develop a policy action plan that can be used to implement the Basel Amendments.

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Project Objectives

The project will work towards the goal of effective control of transboundary shipment of plastic waste in Pakistan through the following capacity building and research objectives:

Increase knowledge on transboundary PVC plastic waste import in Pakistan with focus on local context, relevant policies, and key stakeholders.

Enhance governmental stakeholders’ capacity to develop and implement relevant domestic legislation in accordance with Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments.


Output A

Value chain and associated network of transboundary plastic waste import up to recycling for increased understanding of scrap material flow, key actors, their roles in transboundary plastic waste import.

Output B

Report on comparative analysis of relevant domestic regulations to understand the policy environment in Pakistan, and potential solutions.

Output C

Capacity development of governmental stakeholders to address hazardous transboundary plastic waste import issue.

Output D

A policy action plan co-developed by government stakeholders in light of the research findings from outputs a and b.

Project Personnel

Dr. Jabir H. Syed

Project Lead

Saad Shah


Shiza Aslam

Research Fellow

Asma Gul Qazi

Research Assistant


Our Address

COMSATS University Islamabad, Islamabad Campus

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+92 51 90495924