Every one of us is quite aware of the dangers and threats posed by plastic waste disposals. But without any concerns, most of the people throw plastic wastes in public and open spaces. Open burning of plastic, often causes serious health issues to living beings and pollution in surrounding environment. FMCG majors like Dabur and HUL have come out with an innovative idea to address this issue. These companies have made a deal with ragpickers, through which they will be offered incentives for collecting plastic wastes from streets.
HUL had initiated a similar drive in 2011 by partnering with telecom major, Bharati Airtel. The programme was named ‘Go recycle’, focused on the reuse and recycle of plastic wastes, especially empty plastic bottles and pouches. But this campaign greatly ignored plastic sachets and lighter plastic packs that don’t fetch any money.
The new initiative from HUL includes these sachets and lighter plastics packages besides empty plastic bottles and pouches (for recycling). This programme is launched jointly with another company in Chennai that converts flexible plastic waste into fuel oil. This fuel oil is used to heat boilers at HUL’s factory in Pondicherry.
Dabur too have joined this venture for eradicating plastic waste. The company has tied up with TetraPak India, the global packing firm and extended incentives for ragpickers to collect discarded packages of food products. Collected waste packages are recycled to create a variety of useful products like roofing sheets and office stationery. Ragpickers are asked to collect damaged packs from stockiest and warehouses (at initial stage) and to sell them to paper mills.
The Union Environment ministry has also set out several rules to enhance plastic waste management in the country. Banning plastic sachets and encouraging the use of paper bags are some of such initiatives. Bisleri International has initiated a waste management programme two years ago that linked ragpickers with companies that would buy and recycle the scrap they collected.
All these efforts are small efforts that may go a long way in jointly addressing the issue of India’s (12,000 tonnes a day) plastic junk pile-up. This also shows the corporate social responsibility part of the companies and its time that more and more corporate come forward to tackle this menace and make the people aware about the ill effects of dumping plastic wastes.