WWF-Pakistan holds campaign to create awareness of plastic pollution
To create awareness regarding the hazards of plastic, the WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Hoga Saaf Pakistan recently concluded a “Beat Plastic Pollution” campaign.
The five-days-long activity began at Dolmen Mall, Clifton on August 10 and invited people to donate their used plastic bottles in exchange for the opportunity to win gifts from various brands.
The campaign focused on educating the masses about the world and the country’s plastic pollution problem and how important it is to recycle. The plastic waste collected will be subsequently recycled by Waste Busters.
According to experts, around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced every year, which is nearly equivalent to the weight of the human population. The world today faces worrying trends of an increase in the rate of plastic production and its disposal, stated a press release issued on Wednesday.
Celebrities and media personalities including United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Elin Burns, actress Ayesha Omar, Shaniera Akram, activist Frieha Altaf, actress Momal Shaikh, actor Yasir Hussain and Tooba Siddiqui participated in the WWF-Pakistan campaign.
They encouraged citizens to replace single-use plastic products with reusable alternatives and emphasised on the need to create awareness on the hazards of plastics in everyday life.
In his message, Hammad Naqi Khan, the Director General of WWF-Pakistan, shared that the same properties that make plastics durable and resistant to degradation are the very reasons why they are impossible to completely break down.
He said this campaign was just the tip of the iceberg in taking steps to sustainably deal with this growing problem. “WWF-Pakistan with support from numerous partners will continue to initiate more campaigns to promote a cleaner Pakistan,” he added.
One of the major concerns of plastic waste is how it is putting marine life in grave danger since marine animals ingest plastic. This not only causes internal injuries but toxins are also passed into the food chain and consumed by humans.
“We are in the middle of a plastic calamity. Plastic production is expected to skyrocket in the next 10 years and if we don’t take immediate actions then it is predicted that the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050,” said Dr Babar Khan, WWF-Pakistan Regional Director for Sindh and Balochistan.
“As a country, we need effective strategies to curb single-use plastics, which include all plastic material we use once and throw away such as plastic bags, straws and water bottles among others.”
The “Beat Plastic Pollution” campaign contributes to a larger initiative launched by WWF-Pakistan, the Green Innovation Challenge, in collaboration with Clean Seas and powered by JS Bank and National Incubation Centre (NIC) Karachi.
The challenge is a start-up competition that aims to harness the forces of innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle the issue of plastic waste faced by Pakistan.
WWF-Pakistan will provide a platform to innovators of the country to come forth with economically viable long-term solutions to end plastic waste discharged into the oceans and to effectively recycle plastic waste in Pakistan.
The most feasible idea will be awarded seed funding of Rs1 million to convert the idea into a social enterprise. Every piece of plastic ever made still exists somewhere in the world and we need to play our role individually in protecting the planet from becoming one big plastic waste dump, the press released added.