PAKISTAN – Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) has launched the country’s first-ever retail site constructed with recycled plastic – the Malik Service Station at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Karachi.

This innovative project is a collaboration with Concept Loop co-founders Dabeer Hemani and Syed Ali Naqi.

The retail site’s construction utilized the equivalent of 1.3 million pieces of end-of-life plastic waste, which were transformed into infused pavers and concrete blocks. This initiative aims to showcase the potential of recycled materials in building infrastructure.

SPL CEO and Managing Director Waqar Siddiqui commented, “Innovative solutions like this need to be tried and tested.

“The success of the plastic-infused road and the recycled plastic site can inspire future infrastructure developments. We aspire to achieve a ripple effect—inspiring broader adoption of sustainable practices.”

SPL remains committed to exploring new avenues for environmental responsibility and innovation. The company recorded a profit after tax of Rs314 million (US$1.13m) in the first quarter of 2024.

Pakistan’s plastic usage is undergoing significant changes, highlighted by Punjab province’s ban on producing and selling plastic bags as of 5 June 2024.

In a similar vein, Kenyan innovators have recently constructed a taxi boat made from recycled plastic waste.

This initiative involved a collaboration between The Flipflopi Project, Newcastle University engineering experts, and ePropulsion, creators of an innovative solar-electric propulsion system.

The team installed a solar-electric engine on Flipflopi’s latest vessel, a boat taxi made entirely from recycled plastic collected and manufactured on Lamu Island in Northern Kenya. The boat has now been certified for seaworthiness.

During a month-long trial, the eco-friendly water taxi, powered by solar energy, matched the speed of traditional petrol engines while being significantly cheaper to run and producing zero emissions.

Dr. Simon Benson, project lead at Newcastle University, noted that this pilot program demonstrated that electric propulsion is not just for luxury cars or mass transit in high-tech cities but can also solve environmental problems in lower-resourced rural communities.

“Since the solar panels can be fully recharged daily, both on land and on the boat, this makes it a great option for short transit routes,” he said.

He cited the potential for use by coastal, lakeside, and island communities worldwide that rely on small, open boats for fishing, cargo, and passenger transport.

The recycled plastic water taxi was built from 1.2 tonnes of HDPE plastic, recovered by the community-centered program, that would otherwise have been burnt, dumped, or destined for the ocean.

Flipflopi manufactures high-quality plastic lumber at its Lamu-based recovery and recycling center, combining traditional boat-building techniques with appropriate new technology.

Ali Skanda, co-founder of The Flipflopi Project, explained that their mission is to address the plastic pollution crisis by supporting circular solutions in low-income maritime communities.

“With our recycling and heritage boatbuilding center, we are exploring how to create viable boat prototypes from plastic waste while preserving the indigenous craftsmanship of boatbuilding and furniture making for generations to come,” he said.

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