Speakers call for devising policy to handle E-waste

Speakers at a policy conclave on E-waste management held at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) on Friday called for devising a revised policy with consolidated approach towards handling of E-waste.

Speakers call for devising policy to handle E-waste

The event was arranged with support of Dr. Jabir Syed from the Meteorology Department and Dr. Tahir Mumtaz Awan from Incharge China Study Centre. Prof. Dr. Sajjad Ahmed Madani said that according to a live counter of e-waste in 2022, over nine million tons of electrical items have been disposed of. He recommended the usage of 3R’s and returning products to manufacturers rather than throwing them away. Dr Jabir Syed, Assistant Professor, CUI, gave an overview about E-waste which includes all the electronics that are not being used anymore. As per the collected statistics, 53 million tons of E-waste is being produced every year.

He mentioned that China has banned the solid waste in 2019 and they have extracted 1 ton of gold from E-waste. Prof. Dr. Perihan Kurt- Karakus, Busra Technical University, Turkey joined the conclave via video recording. She talked about the whole sampling strategy of their research process and gave a detailed description of the method which is being used by them to deal with the E-waste. Keynote speaker Deputy Director Ministry of Climate Change, Dr. Zaigham Abbas listed out various projects including Mina Matta Convention and Basel Conventions. He supposed that we should also go for extracting precious metals from the E-waste. He sadly underlined the open burning of the E-waste in some cities of Pakistan. He explained that there are no adequate regulatory measures for handling the E-waste properly. Dr. Zaigham concluded with the remarks that we need to comply with international conventions and create mass awareness among the common people. He recommended a sound environment for the implementation of the policy made for the handling of the E-waste. Dr. Tahir Waseem, Pakistan Science Foundation, proposed some policies which included increasing the linkages between media academia and industry and provision of scholarships to the students for studying abroad and having an exposure to the international world.

Prof. Kevin C. Jones, Lancaster University, United Kingdom also attended the session via video recording. He felt pressured to be a partner in such an important project. His proposition was that E-waste is not properly handled in Pakistan irrespective of the fact that Pakistan is the second largest importer. Dr. Tahir Mumtaz Awan and Dr. Jabir Syed moderated the discussion session by explaining the agenda items to the discussants. Dr. Ashiq Muhammad, Professor Bahria University, provided the audience with some of the loopholes in the process of making policies for the E-waste management including lack of technical expertise and lack of coordination between stake holders. Dr. Sohail Yousaf, Professor Quaid-e-Azam University, supposed that the E-waste is contributing a lot towards climate change and Pakistan has yet not developed a proper policy. Learning from advanced countries like the USA, Japan and the United Kingdom, Saima William represented the Pakistan Mission Society and urged the policy makers to make a revised policy and provide consolidated solutions for handling the E and other hazardous waste. Dr. Hussain Haider Rizvi, Manager SUPARCO, highlighted the issues that need to be addressed in detail and suggested that GIS Systems can be used to locate the dumps in different places of the country to have ground-based solutions.

Syed Paras Ali, editor Technology Times, stressed for the coordinated efforts in the mainstream by celebrating national days regarding E-waste management to create awareness among laymen. Jameel Asghar Bhatti from SWAP, offer alternative to stop people from using hazardous materials and believed that policy without involving stakeholders is of no use. Shahbaz Gul Awan, CEO E-waste Management, highlighted policies that need practical and proper implementation. Proper data destruction policy to recycle mobile phones is the demand of the day. Dr. Zafeer Saqib, IIUI, talked about proper solutions as environment knows any border Ziaul Islam, Ministry of Climate Change, stressed on capacity building by strengthening the EPAs. Mr. Ammar Jafri focused on strengthening the youth to make them understand the importance of E-waste management. The event was concluded by Prof Shahid A. Khan, Head ORIC, COMSATS University Islamabad, stressing the implementation of the policies and bring about a positive change from self to state. The session ended with the distribution of souvenirs among all the worthy speakers and discussants.

Source: This news is originally published by pakistantoday