Secretary for Science and Technology Ministry Naseem Nawaz revealed a shocking discovery that medical waste from the private and government hospitals including plastic from syringes, IV sets, catheter kits and bags, and such things is being melted to make straws for drinking cold drinks.
Naseem didn’t stop there he also claimed “Besides drinking straws, hospital waste ends up recycled as diapers, toys, disposal cups and many other daily use plastic items” at the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee for Science and Technology held on Friday with Senator Mushtaq Ahmed in the chair.
Nasem believed what he has comprehended from a video of people recycling hospital waste into straws, diapers, and toys.
When asked, officials of his ministry said microbes and viruses are killed when plastic is heated to blistering point in the furnace for melting and remolding. At this Secretary Naseem said, bacteria may die but the chemicals remain.
The committee has call for a complete report on the dumping of hospital waste and its reprocessing.
While presenting a compliance report on the Committee’s directions, the members were astounded to know that no facility exists in Pakistan to check if children’s toys or drinking straws are being made from hospital waste.
Secretary termed hospitals responsible as he said it is the obligation of hospitals that let go waste out of the buildings rather to incinerators inside the hospital.
However; the committee has decided to hold a joint session along with the committee on health for a meticulous debate and framing an approach with the concerned authorities. The meeting is expecting to be held in the next month.
The matters connected to well-being and healthiness must not be overdue by such gaps and tangible actions should be taken to hold accountable who are responsible for this mismanagement.