ISLAMABAD: UNDP Pakistan and Unilever Pakistan announced their partnership today to test solutions in an effort to minimize plastic waste in Rahim Yar Khan city.
Through this partnership, Unilever and UNDP will work together to enable the plastic waste management ecosystem in Rahim Yar Khan. This initiative will test solutions to reduce plastic waste, and potentially turn waste into a resource. The key goal is to create a circular economy system for plastics waste management in Pakistan— by testing new economic models, industrial, and consumer behavior, policy shift and, engaging private sector, and other non-traditional partners.
A virtual event was held today to commemorate this partnership. Present at the event were Ms. Aliona Niculita, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Pakistan; Mr. Amanullah Khan, Assistant Resident Representative, and Head of Environment and Climate Change Unit (ECCU), UNDP Pakistan; and Mr. Amir Paracha, CEO Unilever Pakistan Ltd, along with relevant representatives of UNDP Pakistan, Unilever Pakistan Ltd, and local government of Rahim Yar Khan City.
Rahim Yar Khan city is home to Unilever’s first and largest factory in Pakistan, and is of key strategic importance to the company’s national footprint. Unilever recently announced a multipronged ambition to reduce its plastic footprint and to play its role towards a circular economy. The company has pledged to collect more plastic than it sells as part of its environmental responsibility.
This vision is also inline of UNDP’s global commitment to work with governments worldwide on business solutions for waste management. UNDP Pakistan is part of the regional cohort of five Countries (Pakistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Philippines) that are working on the challenge of plastic waste management with the Regional Innovation Center in Bangkok. UNDP is also a regional partner to Unilever, and has been actively engaging with the company on its plastics waste management agenda.
“UNDP is committed to promote public private partnership through innovative solutions to tackle complex development challenges,” stated Ms. Aliona Niculita, Resident Representative a.i. UNDP Pakistan. “UNDP’s plastic waste management portfolio is building a movement towards creating a circular economy for plastics in Pakistan. Through our partnership with Unilever Pakistan, we are working on creating innovative business solutions to turn waste into a resource.”
Amir Paracha, Chairman & CEO, Unilever Pakistan added “Unilever has been a part of Pakistan since 1948, and we started that journey in the city of Rahim Yar Khan seven decades ago. This initiative is a means of giving back to our home city and to provide an economic model that can then be replicated across our country. We are confident that this partnership will identify a solution that will not only reduce plastic waste but also provide an opportunity for livelihoods to thousands of people across the country.”
The results from testing these solutions will provide field-tested and holistic insights on effective solutions to develop a larger program and policy on plastic waste and circular economy.