Pakistan becomes dumping ground for Global Hazardous Waste

Pakistan becomes dumping ground for Global Hazardous Waste

Emma Barnhoorn

Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher


Pakistan is importing massive amounts of hazardous waste from several countries such as the UK, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s parliamentary committee was informed of this on Thursday the 1st of July.

Shockingly, the UK individually already dumped 40,000 tonnes of waste in Pakistan in the previous year. Pakistan, due to various reasons, is lacking the capacity to separate regular and hazardous waste, which has as a result serious environmental and health concerns. Next to the 40,000 tonnes from the UK, Pakistan got 25,000 tonnes from Iran and 20,000 tonnes from the UAE, according to Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Syed Mujtaba Hussain.

The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change met for a briefing on the National Hazardous Waste Management Policy 2022, discussing Pakistan’s commitment with the international community to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. The committee was informed that most waste was used by the recycling industry, spread across Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwla and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, using metals such as gold, copper and aluminium. Mr. Hussain informed his members that the policy aims to prevent deadly waste from entering Pakistan and being created within the country. All aspects of solid waste imported into Pakistan have been reviewed before issuing a non-objection certificate, but the Ministry of Climate Change was reliant on provincial environment protection agencies before issuing such certificates. Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, has suggested suspending the certificates until waste dumping and recycling infrastructure in Pakistan is put in place. In turn, Senator Humayun Mohmand suggested that the ministry should take action against those involved in allowing deadly waste to enter the country (Shadid, 2022).

Sources and further readings:

Shahid, J., (July 1 2022) “Pakistan dumping ground for global hazardous waste, Senate body told” in Dawn:

United Nations Environmental Programme, Pakistan,