In late December 2018, the UK based, Royal Statistical Society released their ‘Statistic of the Year’ – a figure that indicates the general trends and key talking points from the past year. The judges chose the figure 90.5% – which is the amount of plastic that has never been recycled and remains with us on the planet.
All through last year plastic pollution hit the headlines. We now know that there are around 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. There is therefore a high probability that those of us who consume seafood or even salt would unknowingly also consume particles of plastic. This fact is reflected through studies which confirm the presence of plastic in human faeces.
As an organisation we have been alert to plastic pollution since 2010. We have supported all our partners and customers to reduce the use of plastic; especially, one time use products as such as possible. We have also worked closely with brands and other manufacturers to collect, store, aggregate and send various grades of plastic to end processing facilities so that they can be recycled, upcycled or disposed off responsibly in other means.
Our experience and work on the ground has now been recognized. Our company has now been registered by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) under the Plastic Waste Management Rules.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules’ Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) clause makes it mandatory for companies and brands that use plastic packaging to channel their packaging into a reverse logistics system that will draw the plastic waste out of the system and put it through processing system instead of it ending up at a landfill.
The registration gives us the authorization to partner with brands and companies to support them in their compliance to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and build a custom reverse logistics system that works for them.
EPR is a good instrument to bring accountability towards plastic waste especially waste with low economic value. In January, 2019, we expect to channel 300 tonnes of low grade plastic waste into collection. The collected plastic will then be sent to cement kilns for co-processing.
We understand that our efforts as yet do not match the scale of the problem. There is so much more that needs to be done; mainly building a closed loop recycling system that will plug into a circular rather than a linear economy. Rest assured, we will all be pulling in the same direction in 2019 to make this a reality.