Using an absurd amount of single-use plastics day after day is devastating our oceans and our country, though individuals and the corporate sector could work together to minimize its use in the society. It is important to start focusing on phasing out single use plastics in our daily routine by designing end-of-pipe solutions such as recycling or waste disposal. This was stated by Hammad Naqi khan, Director General/CEO, WWF-Pakistan while speaking at the WWF-Pakistan’s Green Office Network Meeting 2017 at a local hotel in Lahore.
The purpose of the network meeting was to urgently translate sustainability strategies and best practices for reducing plastic debris in Pakistan into actionable development plans. The theme of the event was “to turn the tide” and solve the excessive plastic waste problems that we create on a daily basis.
Nazifa Butt, Manager Environmental Assessment/Green Office Initiative, WWF-Pakistan said,
Our dependency on plastics has increased over the past decade, it’s time that civil society realizes the importance of not using plastics and chooses alternatives. WWF-Pakistan, through the Green Office Initiative, is also educating the corporate sector about plastic waste and encourages plastic recycling initiatives.
Speaking on the occasion, Yawar Herekar, Head of Economics & Sustainability, JS Bank said,
We have always strived to benefit the country and citizens through various green initiatives leading to an environmentally sustainable planet. In the past also, we met all the requirements set by WWF and became the first commercial bank in Pakistan to be certified by WWF-Pakistan as Green Office.
A series of specialist speakers from Engro Fertilizers, JS Bank, and Unilever Pakistan shared details about their respective plastic recycling initiatives, highlighting how their organization’s work is contributing to the underlying principles of environmental sustainability in Pakistan.
The event was concluded by the guest of honor, Begum Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan, Minister Environment Protection, Punjab. She said,
Efforts of the Government alone cannot have a significant outcome unless the public shows interest and gets involved in reducing plastic consumption. People should shift from disposable plastics to reusable material. If we do not take up this issue now, it can be devastating for all living beings.
The one-day conference was attended by the corporate and public sector leaders, academics and industry practitioners from all across Pakistan.
It included keynote speeches from respected environmental lawyer, Rafay Alam, who discussed the prevailing laws regarding plastic consumption and its alternatives in Pakistan.
Hassaan Sipra, Scientific Officer, Centre for Climate Research and Development, COMSATS also shared a deep dived synthesis of his research on the informal waste sector of Lahore and the international labor organizations for plastic waste management in Pakistan.
The event was followed by an award ceremony for Green Offices with best performances in reduction of their carbon footprint. In this regard, JS Bank received the Best Green Office coordinator award.