Recycle now or suffer later, warn experts


There is a need to unite owners of paper mills on a single platform, where they can be motivated to fulfil their social responsibilities by balancing their growth with environmental safety. This was the crux of a recently concluded joint study by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan, Pakistan Pulp, Paper and Board Mills Association and Tetra Pak, which aimed to determine the ratio of used beverage cartons in papermaking in Pakistan.
“We included about 25 mills from Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in our research, which showed encouraging results regarding recycling,” said Tetra Pak Environment Manager Jawad A Khan, while addressing a group of senior journalists. He said recycling of used beverage cartons had increased to almost 9,400 tonnes in 2011, which showed that the overall quantity of wastepaper recycling had increased in the country.
He said there was a business incentive in recycling used cartoons in paper making, as paper made from recycling used cartons only cost Rs 16 per kg, while paper made without recycled materials cost Rs 21 per kg, adding that this would be a substantial incentive for mill owners. Quoting the research, he said it was recommended that used packets of milk and juices which get indiscriminately thrown in the garbage be used for recycling.
“There is a need to engage communities in the recycling process and the development of a collection system of garbage for recycling purposes,” he said, adding that such efforts were underway. Citing environment protection as one of the major goals of Tetra Pak, Khan said recovery and recycling of used beverage cartons in Pakistan was part of their global agenda for environmental protection.
Fazeelur Rehman, citing an initiative along these lines, said polyethylene roof tile sheets and plastic pellets were being made from the waste of paper at Bulleh Shah paper mills in Kasur, on an experimental basis. The mill also has an international-standard Effluent Treatment Plant to treat waste and remove hazardous elements from it before it is thrown into River Sutlej, he said.