In the contemporary world, plastic waste management has proven to be one of the most grievous issues. Globally eight million tonnes of plastic waste is disposed off in oceans on an annual basis, translating into a plethora of repercussions for the environment.
Pakistan has the second-largest domestic market for plastics in Southeast Asia after India; with a growth rate of 15 per cent per annum. At the same time, it has limited resources and an even more fragile waste management system in place to cater to the growing amount of plastic and the municipal waste being generated.
It comes as no surprise that among all the rivers of the world, the Indus River of Pakistan is the second biggest receiver of plastic waste.
To address the problem, there was a need to identify the process of the PET bottle supply chain, quantify the number of bottles ending up in landfills and water bodies, and identify the challenges of the informal recycling sector. WWF-Pakistan and The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) joined hands to a baseline on recovery and recycling of PET by conducting a research study in 10 major cities of Pakistan including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, Murree, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Gujranwala, and Faisalabad.