Coca-Cola Kicks Off Pakistan’s First Plastic Road Project

Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan have partnered with Capital Development Authority and TeamUp / National Incubation Center (NIC) to work towards creating a World Without Waste.

This mega-project involves locally introducing the concept of re-carpeting national roads with plastic waste. For now, a one-kilometer road in the Islamabad Capital Territory will be modeled as a proof-of-concept.

This partnership was finalized on 21st September 2021 in an MOU signing ceremony held at the TeamUp / NIC offices in Islamabad. In attendance were environmental experts and government officials who discussed and debated the project in a panel discussion that followed the signing.

Fahad Ashraf, VP and General Manager of Coca-Cola Pakistan-Afghanistan said, “This idea provides a breakthrough solution to bring back plastic waste into the productive economy. 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.”

This is where TeamUp and NIC come in. Working towards expanding the idea nationwide via hackathons, conferences, white papers, policy changes, and a coalition of partners, TeamUp/NIC hopes to make this a success.

Parvez Abbasi and Zouhair Khaliq representing the strategic leadership of the TeamUp/NIC added, “When Coca-Cola came to us with the willingness to be part of the solution, we were keen to lead this because most of the startups and projects here are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals.”Advertisement

This project by Coca-Cola Pakistan has adopted the process of sustainable innovation whereby the scale is large, almost 8 tonnes of recycled plastic is used only to re-carpet a one-kilometer patch of road. The technology, the research, and its application are Pakistani.

Furthermore, this project allows the use of recycled PET waste to be part of a circular plastic economy and have a considerable positive impact on the environment. The roads re-carpeted with plastic last almost twice as long and are 51 percent stronger.

At the launch event of Plastic Road Pilot Re-Carpeting, a technical paper revealed the secondary research and global best practices, which will be adapted locally in the Pakistani context and invites anyone to adopt plastic waste in strengthening road structures anywhere. Once adopted widely, this initiative is expected to save the government valuable taxpayer money in repairs cost.

Whereas this new technology is practiced globally in countries across the world and even in South Asia, this is the first time Pakistan is adopting it under a public-private partnership.

Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Amer Ali Ahmed, an instrumental partner in making the project a reality, was the Chief Guest at the event. “We believe in a clean and green Pakistan, but we also believe in working with each other to create results expansively,” he said.

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