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Countries using Pakistan as waste dumping ground

The United Kingdom alone dumped nearly 40,000 tonnes of waste in Pakistan last year.

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In baffling news, Pakistan has become the top export destination for many countries’ hazardous waste. Pakistan is importing massive amounts of hazardous waste from several countries, including the United Kingdom, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, it was learned.

Given the environmental hazards, this is an alarming development. Other countries that dump their waste into Pakistan include the United States, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Canada, and Italy.

According to details, the United Kingdom alone dumped nearly 40,000 tonnes of waste in Pakistan last year. This is because the UK lacks the capacity to separate regular and hazardous waste. In addition to this, 25,000 tonnes came from Iran and nearly 20,000 tonnes from the UAE.

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An alarming situation for Pakistan

Pakistan imports waste from countries so that it can be used by the recycling industry that is spread across the country in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The recycling industry extracted metals such as gold, copper, and aluminum from the imported waste.

On the other hand, Pakistan itself annually produces 30 million tonnes of waste in addition to annually importing 80,000 tonnages of bundled waste from around the world. 90% of the imported waste ends up in the oceans. The world bank found that the Indus carries 10,000 metric tonnes of microplastics to the Arabian sea. The waste also contaminates the surface water and groundwater supplies.

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In a bid to protect the environment, the federal government approved Pakistan’s first-ever National Hazardous Waste Management Policy, 2022 drafted by the Ministry of Climate Change. The policy will be implemented at the national level and the Climate Ministry has also consulted provinces in this regard.

Climate change has put a lot of countries at hazard, and the risk is significantly larger for developing countries. Because of this serious problem, which is having a severe impact on the area, South Asia has grown more disaster-prone. In general, climate change is accelerating and has severe consequences for Pakistan.