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LAHORE: Pakistan has imported over 110,000 tonnes of plastic scrap in last three years without proper recycling infrastructure and monitoring framework in place, sources said yesterday.
There is no regulation questioning why the country is lifting all kinds of plastic scrap from world over despite lacking basic recycling facilities, they added.
According to sources in the Environmental Protection Department, plastic scrap is primarily imported by traders who do not have recycling facilities with traditional set-ups in residential areas such as Shershah Karachi and Shahdara Lahore, exposing millions of people to hazardous plastic waste of virtually all kinds.
As per Pakistan’s Import Policy Order 2009 amended as per a statutory regulatory order 242(1) 2011, plastic scrap is only importable by manufacturers for their use subject to the condition that they shall furnish to customs authorities a certificate from relevant government agency of the exporting countries that the goods are not hazardous and comply with the provision of the Basel Convention.
Unfortunately, the Import Policy Order is not being implemented in its true spirit, sources added.
Further, the definition of manufacturer in existing policy is vague in nature and any registered individual with a sales tax number is considered a manufacturer by customs authorities regardless of whether they have manufacturing and recycling facilities to produce finish plastic product from scrap, the sources added.
As per plastic recycling standards, the waste should be properly sorted, washed, cleaned and palletised before use in end product. However, it is not being followed, they claimed.