The initiative will drive solid waste management transformation in cities like Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayandar, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Aurangabad
Delhi, 21st November 2023 — In a ground breaking effort to reshape the landscape of plastic waste management, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), a leading emerging markets FMCG company, in collaboration with the India Sanitation Coalition (ISC), with implementation partners – Sampurn(e)arth, Recity, and Feedback Foundation, launched the “Plastic Circular Cities” project today. The initiative, tailored for sustainable solid waste management (SWM), would specifically target six high-density cities in Maharashtra, each with a population exceeding one million.
The selected cities for this transformative endeavour include Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayandar, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Aurangabad. The project’s strategic approach comprises a two-phase methodology: research and design, followed by pilot implementations across the identified cities.
Annually India generates 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste. Since 2016, plastic consumption has increased by 40 percent but plastic waste output has doubled in the same time. Recycling is the solution to solving this problem, but reality is far more complicated. Over 65% of the plastic recycled is only high-grade plastic. The medium-grade plastic ends up as fuel mostly in cement kilns and the low-grade plastic ends up in our overflowing landfills.
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL), the funding partner for the research, will first delve deep into existing solid waste management plans of municipalities with a particular emphasis on plastic waste management processes in the chosen cities. The research aims to identify gaps, propose alternative solutions, and engage stakeholders to formulate comprehensive waste management strategies, including recommendations for livelihood and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Gayatri Divecha, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Godrej Industries, said, “India’s recent legislation on banning single-use plastics and the new stringent Plastic Waste Management rules 2022 (PWM) shows India’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The call to action is clear – it is a challenge for us to innovate, and an opportunity to lead. Through our work we have learned that many more of us need to come together. Corporates need to collaborate with the Government and help build waste management infrastructure. In turn, local authorities need to educate and enforce regulations requiring households to segregate waste. More corporates need to look at the entire value chain of waste management and not just focus on recycling. If we don’t get involved in the ecosystem of waste, we will not be able to unlock the potential value of our waste and leverage that to run a more sustainable business. We’re glad to partner with India Sanitation Coalition’s ‘Plastic Circular Cities’ programme and hope to make a tangible impact on plastic waste management ecosystem in Maharashtra.”
Godrej Consumer Products runs five community waste management projects in partnership with local municipalities. The company has leveraged technology to support India’s urban local bodies to create a transparent, efficient and accountable waste management system.
Anticipated to conclude the research by early 2024, ISC envisions that the recommendations emerging from the research will be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, with interested corporates and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) collaborating in the respective geographies. The coalition is set to collaborate with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Maharashtra state government to ensure the seamless execution of the project.
Further to this, Ms. Natasha Patel, CEO of India Sanitation Coalition, said, “Plastic is a constant in our everyday lives. However, the process of disposal needs to be streamlined to ensure it doesn’t end up at the landfill. The ‘Plastic Circular Cities’ initiative aims to bring together all our collective efforts to address the challenges posed by plastic waste. By forging strategic partnerships and leveraging the expertise of our implementing partners, we aim to create a scalable and sustainable model that can be replicated across cities.”
The inauguration programme, organized at FICCI Delhi, saw participation from potential partners and stakeholders. It involved enriching discussions among expert partners, corporates with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and those with a focus on plastic within their CSR initiatives.