Page 84 - Shashwat - Restoring Green Economy
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Cover Story


                                                                               ƒ Segregation of waste at source is
                                                                              key for resource recovery of EPR
                                                                              products. Producer companies
                                                                              must contribute significantly
                                                                              to improve awareness of source
                                                                              segregation and the need to recycle.
                                                                               ƒ Plastic waste and electronic waste
                                                                              are spread across the country.
                                                                              There is a lack of formalized
                                                                              reverse logistics companies as
                                                                              setting up a collection network
                                                                              could be extremely complex and
                                                                               ƒ The informal sector manages
                                                                              around 90% of all waste streams.
             long-term viability and productivity   paper, paperboards, etc. But waste   Upgrading these to the formal
             of their business. Sustainability is no   collectors and ragpickers typically   means of responsible waste
             longer a niche trend, but something   don’t collect this waste (MLP). As a   management while ensuring
             that these businesses really believe   result, streets, dumps, and sewage   their adherence to compliances is
             in and are leading the charge for,   canals are littered by this waste. To   challenging.
             especially in the packaging industry.   counter this, ITC stepped in buying
                                             MLP waste from garbage collectors   Scope of EPR in
             To give you another example of   at the very beginning and then
             EPR, let us consider the case of   sorting it with the help of SWaCH   India
             ITC. In October 2019, Fast-Moving   before sending it to recyclers such as   In 2016, in India, the concept of
             Consumer Goods (FMCG) major     Shakti Plastic. At the recycling unit,   EPR was brought into the Plastic
             ITC introduced the country’s    ITC invested in technology to help   Waste Management Rules, 2016. In
             first Multilayered Plastic (MLP)   convert the MLP waste into pellets,   Maharashtra, the government has
             collection and recycling initiative in   used for making daily items, such as   introduced a buyback mechanism. In
             Pune, tying up with a waste-pickers’   plastic chairs, stools, buckets, mugs,   this mechanism, the manufacturer
             cooperative – Solid Waste Collection   and so on. It is an end-to-end solution   is supposed to print their name, the
             and Handling (SWaCH) – and      where sustainable plastic waste   type of plastic used, and a recycling
             recyclers, such as Shakti Plastic to   management is the ultimate objective.  price/buyback price on their product.
             ensure sustainable plastic waste                               They are then supposed to buy it
             management.  MLP is difficult to                               back from the consumer at that price
             recycle and poses a major challenge   Challenges in            and send it to the recycling units.
             to all stakeholders as far as the use of   Implementation of   EPR policies should bring about
             plastic is concerned. User industries,                         effective collaborations between
             including packaged food companies,   EPR                       various stakeholders, such as the
             argue there is no replacement to   While it is worthwhile for companies   central and state governments,
             MLP, which basically consists of   to tackle the issue of plastic waste   producers, consumers as well as
             multiple layers of plastic and other   management through the EPR   the informal sector to effectively
             materials such as aluminium foils,                             mitigate the effects of climate
                                             programme that makes it mandatory
                                             for firms to take back the plastic   change and pollution caused by
             3    Pinto, V. S. 2019. ‘ITC launches first                    plastic waste. Stringent EPR policies
               multilayered plastic collection, recycling   waste generated by their products,
               drive in Pune.’ In Business Standard. Details   there are some challenges too in the   would be instrumental in ensuring
               available at                  the implementation of the sacred
               com/article/companies/itc-launches-first-  implementation of EPR that include
               multilayered-plastic-collection-recycling-  the following:   3R principle (reduce-reuse-recycle),
               drive-in-pune-119100201010_1.html                            hence facilitating a circular economy.
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