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Friday July 19, 2024

Conference on waste business, management sparks urgent calls for action

By Jamila Achakzai
September 18, 2023

Islamabad:The ‘International Conference on Waste Business and Management,’ jointly organized by the Department of Environmental Sciences at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), the Pakistan Aca­demy of Environmental Sciences, and Pak-EPA, concluded with a resounding call for innovative waste management solutions to combat Pakistan's mounting waste crisis.

The conference, graced by Dr. Muhammad Bashir Khan, Member Technical at the Environmental Protection Tribunal, shed light on Pakistan's alarming waste production, reaching approximately 48.5 million tons annually, including organic, hazardous, and electronic waste. Dr. Khan passionately advocated for a paradigm shift in waste management, highlighting opportunities in composting, e-waste recovery, and plastic recycling.

Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah, Director General of Pak-EPA, stressed the urgency of equipping students with essential waste handling skills and protecting deteriorating recreational areas. She commended Islamabad's ban on single-use plastics and urged federal universities to follow suit.

Dr. Waheed Yousuf, National Coordinator at the Pakistan Academy of Environmental Sciences, voiced concern over the outdated waste management practices, including paying for waste collection, only to witness it pollute the environment. Dr. Mazhar Iqbal, from the Department of Environmental Sciences, warned of a looming crisis, with waste generation projected to double by 2050 due to population growth and urbanization.

Dr. Abida Farooqi, Chairperson of the Department of Environmental Sciences at QAU, emphasized entrepreneurship in waste management. The conference drew a diverse audience of international and national experts, students, and faculty members, all united in the pursuit of cleaner, greener solutions for Pakistan's waste woes. The need for swift and sustainable action to revolutionize waste management has never been more evident.