The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environment Protection Agency (EPA KP) in Pakistan's North West province has banned harmful gas-emitting tire pyrolysis units for a whole year throughout the region.

According to a notification released by EPA KP, the order was made in the exercise of the authority granted by clause (XII) of Section 7 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Act 2014 and is now in effect.

The step is taken in accordance with Peshawar High Court (PHC) directives calling for action against tire pyrolysis factories. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are around 11 plants that burn end-of-life tires, nine of which are in Nowshera and two in Peshawar.

Thousands of kg of scrap plastic and tire material are converted using pyrolysis technology into high-quality fuel oil, carbon black, steel wire, and combustible gas. Due to highly polluted air and the toxic chemicals that uncontrolled factories release into the environment, various respiratory diseases are spreading.

While welcoming the EPA’s decision, Dr. Adil Zareef of the Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN) has called for a total ban on the practice.