In Islamabad, Pakistan’s first road made with recycled plastic waste

A general view of Pakistan’s first plastic road carpeted using recycled plastic at Ataturk Avenue in Islamabad, Pakistan on December 6, 2021. (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
Short Url
Updated 06 December 2021

In Islamabad, Pakistan’s first road made with recycled plastic waste

  • Almost 10 tons of plastic waste was recycled to re-carpet a one-kilometer-long patch of Ataturk Avenue in the Pakistani capital
  • Plastic Road Project executed with funding of Rs21 million in partnership with Coca Cola, TeamUp and Capital Development Authority

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s 'first plastic road,' carpeted with recycled plastic waste, was inaugurated in Islamabad on Monday, a press release by three organizations that collaborated on the project said. 

Pakistan has the highest percentage of mismanaged plastic in South Asia. Around 55 billion plastic bags are produced in the country every year, most of them destined for garbage dumps, landfill sites, or municipal sewers. Around 30 million tons of solid waste is produced each year, out of which nine percent are plastics. The result is increasing plastic pollution in the country which has a negative effect on human health and marine life, upsetting food chains and causing air, water and land to pollute.

The government of Pakistan estimates that 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, generates more than 13,500 tons of municipal waste daily. All major cities face enormous challenges in managing urban waste.




A general view of Pakistan’s first plastic road carpeted using recycled plastic at Ataturk Avenue in Islamabad, Pakistan on December 6, 2021. (Photo courtesy: LOTUS PR)

Utilizing an innovative solution that is gaining traction around the world, Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan partnered up with technology hub Teamup and the Capital Development Authority to use plastic waste to re-carpet roads, recycling almost 10 tons of plastic waste to pave a kilometer-long patch of Ataturk Avenue in Islamabad at a cost of Rs21 million. 

“As part of our global sustainability and environmental goals and vision, together with TeamUp, we focused on creating & developing a bituminous mixture that can provide longer-lasting and smoother roads than we have today,” Coca Cola said in a press release. “With an ever-increasing road network of over 270,000 kilometers, this project has the potential to change the way we view plastic waste.”

The project aligns with the World Without Waste initiative and also with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of the future. The Coca-Cola Company in 2018 launched the product packaging policy ‘World Without Waste’ whereby the Company will lead the industry to collect and recycle every bottle or can it sells by 2030.

“This plastic road project will set the stage for the future of innovation,” Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Amer Ali Ahmed said. “What is particularly exciting is how this opens us up to the possibility of now making this a reality across the nation.

“This road belongs to all Pakistanis, and all the people who care about progress,” Fahad Ashraf, VP for Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan, said.

Plastic roads are made either entirely of plastic or of composites of plastic with other materials. Plastic roads are different from standard roads in that standard roads are made from asphalt concrete, which consists of mineral aggregates and asphalt. Currently, there are no records of regular roads made purely of plastic but plastic composite roads have existed and demonstrate characteristics superior to regular asphalt concrete roads. Specifically, they show better wear resistance. The implementation of plastics in roads also opens a new option for recycling post-consumer plastics.

India has installed over 60,000 miles of plastic roads. The technology is also gaining ground in Britain, Europe, and Asia. Several countries — South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States, among them — have built their first plastic roads recently.

“In Pakistan, TeamUp and the Capital Development Authority have worked with the country's best road engineers to conduct laboratory testing of the road mixture to develop an optimum blend of materials with which this project has been executed,” Coca Cola said. 

VP Fahad Ashraf added: “This idea provides a breakthrough solution to bring back plastic waste into the productive economy. And we also want to focus on building a community around the idea and the innovation itself. For any concept to be applied and adopted, the people must first believe in it, and it needs to make social and commercial sense.”


Oman’s naval chief meets Pakistani general, discusses military cooperation

Updated 2 sec ago

Oman’s naval chief meets Pakistani general, discusses military cooperation

  • General Nadeem Raza says defense cooperation between the two countries will have a positive impact on regional peace and security
  • Pakistan and Oman signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2020 to enhance military cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Commander Royal Navy of Oman Rear Admiral Saif bin Nasser bin Mohsen Al-Rahbi on Tuesday met with Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza in Rawalpindi and discussed ways of improving bilateral military cooperation, the military’s media wing, ISPR, said in a statement.
A day earlier, the Omani official held a meeting with Pakistan’s Naval Chief Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi in Islamabad to discuss bilateral defense ties.
Pakistan and Oman have always maintained a close relationship and the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to increase military cooperation in October 2020.
In his meeting with General Raza, Al-Rahbi discussed “security and regional issues and matters related to enhancing the level and scope of bilateral military engagements and cooperation in various fields between the two brotherly countries,” the ISPR read.
The statement noted that General Raza “emphasized the need to further enhance the existing defense and security cooperation and said that Pakistan-Oman cooperation will have a positive impact on peace and security in the region.”
“The visiting dignitary remained appreciative of the role of the Pakistan Armed Forces in building the capacity of Oman Armed Forces. He also acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism,” it added.
Last week, Pakistani naval ships Rah Naward and Madadgar visited Oman’s Port Sultan Bin Qaboos along with Hamza submarine as part of overseas deployment.
“During the port stay, various bilateral activities including exchange visits onboard afloat units, orientation visits of military installations and coordination meetings were undertaken,” the Pakistan Navy said.


Pakistani policeman, two suspects killed in Islamabad ‘terrorism incident’ 

Updated 22 min 6 sec ago

Pakistani policeman, two suspects killed in Islamabad ‘terrorism incident’ 

  • Outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the ‘attack’ near the city’s famous G-9 market 
  • TTP is a separate group from the Afghan Taliban and has fought for years to overthrow the government in Islamabad 

ISLAMABAD: A policeman and two suspects were killed in a shootout in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad late Monday, in what the country’s interior minister described as a “terrorism incident.”
Two assailants opened fire at police officers standing guard near a market in G-9 sector, the police said, which triggered a shootout that killed an officer and both gunmen. Two policemen were injured in the attack, who were shifted to hospital.
Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday said the deceased suspects were “terrorists” and the shootout was actually an attack.
“Munawwar Shaheed, head constable, was on duty and the terrorists opened a burst on him. This wasn’t a burglary or robbery,” Ahmed said.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed places a wrath on the coffin of a policeman who lost his life in a gun attack in Islamabad on January 18, 2022. (Islamabad Police)

“This is a kind of a signal we have got that terrorism incidents have begun in Islamabad. This is the first incident of this year and we need to be very alert.”

He said the authorities had located the "terrorist sleeper cell" in Misrial, a Rawalpindi neighborhood some 20 kilometers from Islamabad.

“This is purely a terrorism issue,” Ahmed added.

Policemen pay tribute beside the coffin of a police officer who was killed in an overnight gunmen attack during the funeral ceremony in Islamabad on January 18, 2022. (AFP)

Militants have often targeted security forces in Pakistan’s southern Balochistan and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, but attacks like this have been a rarity in Islamabad.
The Pakistani Taliban, or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the “attack” in a statement.
The TTP is a separate movement from the Afghan Taliban and has fought for years to overthrow the government in Islamabad and rule with its own brand of Islamic Shariah law.
Last month, the group declared an end to a month-long cease-fire arranged with the aid of the Afghan Taliban, accusing the Pakistan government of breaching terms including a prisoner release agreement and the formation of negotiating committees.


Pakistani PM's aide visits UAE embassy in display of solidarity after Houthi attack 

Updated 18 January 2022

Pakistani PM's aide visits UAE embassy in display of solidarity after Houthi attack 

  • Tahir Ashrafi says they consider security and stability of UAE as Pakistan's security and stability 
  • UAE ambassador offers condolences over the death of a Pakistani in Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide on the Middle East Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi on Tuesday visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Islamabad to express solidarity with the brotherly country a day after a drone attack on its capital, Abu Dhabi, by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militia.

Houthi rebels on Monday attacked the Emirati capital with missiles and drones, setting off explosions in fuel trucks that killed three people, including a Pakistani national, and injured six others, and causing a fire close to the Abu Dhabi airport.

“The UAE is Pakistan's strongest friend and brother. [We] consider the security and stability of the UAE as Pakistan's security and stability,” Ashrafi told UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi.

“No force can weaken Pakistan-UAE relations,” the Pakistani PM's aide said.

Ambassador Al-Zaabi conveyed condolences from the UAE leadership over the killing of the Pakistani national, who was working for the Emirati oil giant, ADNOC.

“The injured are being fully treated and the UAE foreign ministry is in touch with the Pakistani embassy,” the UAE ambassador was quoted as saying in a statement issued from the office of the Pakistani PM's aide.

Ambassador Al-Zaabi thanked Pakistan for its solidarity and cooperation with the UAE.

Besides being a brotherly country, the UAE is also Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investment in the South Asian country.

Around 1.6 million Pakistani expatriates in the UAE contributed remittances of more than $6 billion in the last financial year.


Authorities in Pakistan's Islamabad start closing schools amid rising virus cases

Updated 18 January 2022

Authorities in Pakistan's Islamabad start closing schools amid rising virus cases

  • Deputy commissioner says educational institutes being closed for a period of 10 days
  • The COVID-19 positivity rate has crossed 10 percent in Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat adds

ISLAMABAD: Authorities in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad have started closing schools amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Islamabad deputy commissioner said late Monday.
The development comes as the South Asian nation reports more than 5,000 new infections in the last 24 hours. The country is battling a fifth wave of COVID-19, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron strain.
"Due to covid rise Islamabad Administration has started sealing schools for a period of ten days so that contact tracing can be done and positive cases are prevented to interact with other kids," Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said on Twitter.
The per day COVID-19 positivity rate has crossed 10 percent in Islamabad, according to the official.
He said the city's administration had also launched a crackdown on those violating the government-prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of the virus.
"Please wear masks and get everyone around you vaccinated as soon as possible," the deputy commissioner urged.
Pakistan on Tuesday reported 10 deaths and 5,034 new cases of coronavirus, according to the National Command and Operation Centre, which oversees the country's pandemic response.
The overall virus positivity rate in the country stands at 9.45 percent.


PM praises Sialkot business community for financially supporting family of lynched Sri Lankan 

Updated 18 January 2022

PM praises Sialkot business community for financially supporting family of lynched Sri Lankan 

  • A mob killed Priyantha Kumara and burnt his body on Dec 3 over blasphemy allegations 
  • Local traders in Sialkot raised $100,000 for Kumara’s bereaved wife and two children 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday lauded Sialkot business community for transferring $100,000 funds and first salary to the widow of a Sri Lankan national, who was lynched in the southeastern Pakistani city in December 2021 over allegations that he had committed blasphemy.
Priyantha Kumara, who worked as a manager at a garment factory, was killed and his body set ablaze by a mob on December 3, 2021 over what police said were accusations he desecrated religious posters.
Sialkot’s business community raised $100,000 for Kumara’s bereaved wife and two children and pledged to take care of their financial needs. On Monday, the funds and the first salary was transferred into the account of Kumara’s widow.
“I want to appreciate the Sialkot business community for transferring $100,000 to account of Priyantha Kumara’s widow & Rajco Industries for transferring monthly salary of $2000 to her account — which they will do for 10 years,” PM Khan Khan said in a Twitter post.


Pakistani police had arrested dozens of people in connection with the lynching that sent shock waves across the South Asian nation and once again triggered a debate on blasphemy, which is considered a sensitive issue and carries death penalty in Pakistan.
Pakistani leaders, including PM Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said at the time Islamabad had been working closely with Sri Lankan authorities on the case.
Top Pakistani leaders had promised accountability after the Sri Lankan leadership demanded Islamabad ensure justice in the case.