Gilgit and Hunza, located on Karakoram Highway, are the two famous tourist destination in Gilgit-Baltistan region. With a combined population of approximately 400,000 plus, Gilgit and Hunza have become a popular attraction for local and foreign tourists with more than 1 million tourists visiting the area annually. This influx of tourists has created income generation for the local community but on the other hand has become a reason for increasing plastic waste in the region. The waste segregation and management system in the region is managed by Gilgit-Baltistan Waste Management Company (GBWMC) with the support of the respective District Councils. An estimate indicates that more than 200,000 kgs of plastic and paper packaging waste is collected on a yearly basis in the region, which increases in the tourist season. Among other factors of increase, the tourists also bring a lot of packaged goods and eventually leave this waste after consumption.
Launch of Clean Gilgit and Hunza project
In line with our global vision for a waste- free future, Nestlé Pakistan partnered with the respective District Councils, Gilgit Baltistan Waste Management Company (GBWMC) and Karakoram Area Development Organization (KADO) to launch the “Clean Gilgit and Hunza Project”. The initiative is being supported by our leading brands; NESTLÉ FRUITA VITALS and NESTLÉ PURE LIFE.
Initiatives under Clean Gilgit and Hunza project
“Clean Gilgit and Hunza Project” focuses on waste segregation and recycling systems for Gilgit and Hunza. We have installed two bailing machines, one in Hunza and the other in Gilgit, that will encourage waste management of around 200,000 KGs of plastic and paper packaging waste in 2021, eventually leading up to 1000 tons by 2025 to make the region waste-free and promote sustainable tourism in the region. Under this project, we will be installing 24 benches and waste bins at popular tourist locations in Gilgit and Hunza. These benches and waste bins are made from the recycled plastic waste collected in Gilgit and Hunza.
We have also donated 15,000 reusable bags to the both the District Councils for further distribution among the communities during 2021. KADO has extended support for different community awareness initiatives for communities and different stakeholders in the area. The project, which is first of its kind at such a high altitude tourist locations, shall make a positive environmental impact at both local and national level.
“We are accelerating our actions to reduce the environmental impact of various kinds of packaging waste. Our vision is that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill nor in oceans, lakes and rivers.”
Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability
Highlighting Nestlé’s vision for a waste free future, Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Pakistan said, “Tackling packaging waste requires a collective approach and we are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle. To achieve this, we have set ourselves the commitment of ensuring 100% of our packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025 and this initiative is a step in that direction,” he further added.
This project marks Nestlé Pakistan’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste by improving its management and recycling, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals 12, 13, 15 and 17 – Responsible Consumption & Production, Climate Change, Life on Land and Partnership for the Goals.