LAHORE: Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) Programme funded by UK government has offered to provide financial and technical assistance to textile sector in development of pollution free and environment friendly textile products.

Dr Henrique Pacini, Economic Affairs Officer UNCTAD and head of SMEP visited APTMA on Thursday to brief textile manufacturers about the details of the programme.

Abdul Rahim Nasir, Ex-Chairman, APTMA along with Vice Chairman Asad Shafi and Secretary General Raza Baqir, welcomed him on the occasion.

Dr Henrique Pacini said, SMEP is funded by the United Kingdom government and is implemented in partnership with UNCTAD. The programme aims to invest up to GBP 20 million to the delivery or research and related interventions to assist target countries including Pakistan to tackle the problem of pollution in manufacturing.

Dr Pacini said SMEP invests in research to further the evidence and understanding of the environmental and human impacts of pollution from manufacturing processes. The programme drives practical research outcomes such as strategies and action plans to enable the uptake of pollution-control technologies and remove barriers to pollution mitigation.

Pacini added that the programme includes development of models, identification of technology-based solutions policy and regulatory models, decision-making and planning, and testing and piloting practical solutions.

On this occasion, Rahim Nasir made a detailed presentation on the textile industry in Pakistan and issues relating to pollution and environmental controls.

He emphasized that the APTMA member mills are 100% compliant corporate entities and performance of industries is strictly monitored by international and national agencies. Compliance of International and local sustainability standards like SA 8000, Oeko Tex made for green, and Step etc is ensured by the member mills.

Rahim stated that the textile mills contribute towards implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and any duly complying with 27 conventions of GSP plus relating to social, gender, environment and other aspects.

Rahim Nasir continued that textile industry in Pakistan was swiftly shifting to environment friendly long-term growth and moving away from fossil fuels. He highly appreciated the visit of Dr Pacini to Pakistan for resolution of all pollution related issues and his offer for financial and technical support to textile mills. He hoped that the assistance from SMEP will go a long way in enabling green environment and setting up of effluent and water treatment plants.

According to him, the Association was active in raising awareness regarding environmental and health risks associated with micro-plastic shedding, and encourage businesses to move away from fossil fuels, especially amid the ongoing global energy crisis.

Vice Chairman Asad Shafi presented a vote of thanks to the visiting guest at the end of the meeting and hoped that member mills will fully benefit from the generous support being extended by Dr Pacini and SMEP to textile and leather industries in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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