The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) launched an anti-plastic pollution campaign a few years ago called the ‘Clean Seas’ initiative.
A research study carried out by the humanitarian organization titled ‘Export of Plastic Debris by Rivers into the Sea’ studied the world’s most plastic-contributing rivers.
The report named Pakistan’s river Indus as the second-biggest contributor to plastic pollution in oceans, which comes as no surprise as the country is the second-largest domestic market for plastics in Southeast Asia, according to the Pakistan chapter of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
The WWF, in turn, conducted a study analyzing the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle recycling process in Pakistan, finding that the results show that households and the commercial sector including restaurants and hotels recognized plastic pollution as a problem, but were unaware of the recycling and sustainable waste management practices, while the households, in general, were not sorting recyclables at all.
According to Shahzeen Pervaiz, a spokesperson for WWF-Pakistan, the PET plastic frequently used for packaging food and beverages, particularly soft drinks, juices, and water, is not biodegradable, pollutes rivers, and kills marine species when they consume it.
The above data is a clear indication of the country’s imminent need to not only address plastic pollution at the industrial level, but also start awareness campaigns for the general public, and encourage sorting household trash into recyclables, compost, etc. like it is done in developed countries.