Master of Business Administration Executive

Faculty / School

School of Business Studies (SBS)

Year of Award



Dr. Shahid R. Mir, Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Project Type

MBA Executive Research Project

Access Type

Restricted Access


Recycling, Circular Economy, Pyrolysis, Chemical recycling, Mechanical recycling

Executive Summary

Plastics have globally replaced conventional packaging materials and are extensively used as a cost-effective alternative to biodegradable or recyclable materials that have been in use for centuries. Unfortunately, the widespread use of single-use plastics has resulted in a significant environmental challenge, with such plastics ending up either in landfills or, more alarmingly, as marine litter. In Pakistan, a lack of robust regulations around waste management has led to the annual recycling of only 6-8% of total plastic waste. The majority of this waste finds its way into landfills and oceans, with less than 10% openly burned for various purposes. The introduction of polythene bags in 1965 by the Swedish company CelloPlast marked a transformative moment, replacing traditional cloth bags that had been in use for day-to-day domestic needs for centuries. This shift to polythene bags as a single-use solution significantly altered the cultural landscape. However, the environmental repercussions of single-use plastics are now blatantly evident, necessitating a proactive approach to manage and repurpose plastic waste. To address this challenge, it is crucial to explore recycling options to eliminate plastic waste and extract maximum value. This approach not only protects the environment but also helps control marine litter, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and decreases Pakistan's dependence on imported fossil fuels. Recycling plastics can be achieved through either mechanical or chemical processes. The chemical process involves pyrolysis, which is currently in the developmental stage and poses cost intensive challenges, with the composition of input materials being a critical concern. Nevertheless, the product manufactured from chemical processes attains virtually the same quality as virgin plastics. On the other hand, mechanical methods, while relatively more straightforward, compromise environmental issues and on quality and are suitable for limited applications compared to new or chemically recycled products. Therefore, this feasibility report aims to assess the potential of chemical recycling, also known as advanced recycling, for managing Karachi's plastic waste. The objective is to explore the viability of this approach in producing high-quality recycled products that align with sustainability goals. The subsequent sections will delve into the waste sourcing, technical, economic, and environmental aspects of implementing chemical recycling for Karachi's plastic waste.


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