The project workshop on Implementing Basel Convention's Amendments for Enhanced Control of Plastic Waste Movements in Pakistan was held on 2nd August 2023 in KSBL, Karachi. The workshop focused on addressing the issue of plastic waste and its management, specifically PVC plastic, in Pakistan. The project aims to increase knowledge on the socioeconomic factors associated with transboundary plastic waste import and co-create solutions to enhance the government's capacity to implement the Basel Amendments.
The meeting saw participation from various stakeholders, including representatives from academia, industry, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations. This diverse group highlighted the importance of collective efforts to tackle the plastic waste problem. Dr. Jabir Hussain Syed, the project lead, presented an overview of the project, its methodology, and expected outcomes. This included value chain analysis, policy environment assessment, and a policy action plan. The presentation highlighted the urgency of the issue and the need for collaboration among stakeholders.
The meeting included two comprehensive training sessions by experts Mr Jim Puckett and Ms Nancy Isarin from Basel Action Network (BAN) and the World Bank respectively. These sessions shed light on the issue of plastic waste imports, illegal practices, and potential solutions to control the trade. Participants actively engaged in discussions and Q&A sessions with the trainers.
Miss Shiza Aslam, Research Fellow, presented the findings of the project, including a material flow network of PVC in Pakistan and recycling rates of various PVC products. The presence of harmful chemicals as additives in PVC products was also highlighted. Mr. Imran Sabir, Deputy Director Technical, Sindh Environmental Agency, expressed his willingness to assist the project team in obtaining data and information related to illegal plastic waste manufacturing. Both trainers and participants emphasized that addressing the plastic waste issue requires comprehensive policy measures and collaboration among all stakeholders.
The rector and other representatives from KSBL expressed their appreciation for the workshop and the potential positive outcomes it may bring. Engro Foundation shared its efforts to promote a circular plastics economy in Pakistan, showing how various organizations are working toward a sustainable solution.The networking sessions provided opportunities for participants to interact and discuss further collaboration in addressing the plastic waste problem.
Overall, the meeting successfully brought together diverse stakeholders to share knowledge, discuss challenges, and work towards finding solutions for the pressing issue of plastic waste in Pakistan. The active participation and engagement demonstrated the importance of collective efforts in tackling this environmental and societal concern.