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Friday August 19, 2022

Policy on toxic waste management okayed

June 29, 2022

Islamabad:Climate change minister Senator Sherry Rehman on Tuesday said the federal cabinet had approved the country's first-ever policy for toxic waste management to reduce threats to human life and ecology in the country.

"The National Hazardous Waste Management Policy made by the climate change ministry will help control movement of toxic material, including plastics, hospital waste, oil, batteries, and electronic waste and will lead to the development of the toxic waste classification and disposal mechanisms," the minister told a presser here.

"We will have to form a departmental framework along with strengthening of federal and provincial environmental protection agencies (EPAs) and also regulatory framework to ensure implementation of the policy," she said.

Ms Sherry said hazardous waste harmed human health and polluted groundwater reserves. She said in the past, 626 containers were illegally shipped to Pakistan by various countries to dump toxic waste, while 80,000 tonnes toxic waste was being imported by private parties every year with the country's annual solid waste generation totalling 60,000 tonnes.

The minister complained about the poor management of imported waste. She said a long consultative process with the provinces was held and the ministry would have to proceed in line with the national action plan.

"We will have to form a departmental framework along with strengthening of federal and provincial environmental protection agencies and also regulatory framework to ensure implementation of the policy," he said.

The minister said the centre would develop a national framework with the provinces and a national action plan to control licensing of hazardous waste import and management. "The policy's implementation will benefit the country's GSP-plus compliance as well. Hopefully, my ministry will come up with the national action plan in three months," she said. Resenting the generation and dumping of toxic waste in the country was unregulated, Ms Sherry said the National Hazardous Waste Management Policy would address the issue.

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