Plastic waste recycling project launched in Bhopal


Aim is to better manage over 85,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year and improve the lives of waste-pickers Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Christina Ruggiero, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) Pvt. Ltd launched a plastic waste recycling program in Bhopal that aims to collect, process and recycle used plastic and convert them into useful products like T-shirts, fabric, backpacks, etc. The hard to recycle low end plastics like carry bags, laminates etc will be used to manufacture compressed boards, co- incineration in cement kilns, road laying and pyrolysis. An estimated 4-5 tonnes of plastic is likely to be collected every day through this project. Bhopal – the second cleanest city in India – thus celebrated #WorldEnvironmentDay in a near perfect way. The plastic waste recycling program is the result of a multi-stakeholder partnership being led by UNDP India and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages to support sustainable plastic waste management practices across 50 Indian cities. As a part of the same program, the Chief Minister, earlier in the morning also inaugurated a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) at Vallabh Bhawan (Mantralaya). This machine collects PET bottles and flakes (cuts) them instantly, thereby reducing the volume of the used PET bottle by upto 85%. It has auto on and off feature and hence the machine only starts when a bottle is dropped inside. The machine has the capacity of flaking 500 bottles in an hour and has storage capacity of 500-600 bottles pieces, inside the machine. To encourage the public to use this machine, everytime they feed a used PET bottle into the machine, they will get a Paytm credit of Rs 0.50/- in their e-wallet. The machine has been developed by BioCrux and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages is investing in these machines to encourage people to recycle PET bottles and not litter them. The plastic waste recycling program will also improve the socio-economic conditions of waste-pickers, especially women. Through this critical partnership, the aim is to better manage over 85,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year and improve the lives of 37,500 waste-pickers, or safaii mitras. The UNDP India – HCCB partnership aims to create a model that ensures a circular economy for plastic waste by generating value out of used plastic, thereby reducing litter. Plastics, because of its many attractive properties, such as lightweight, high strength and ease of processing, meet a large share of the materials needs of man, at a comparatively lesser cost thereby causing lesser environmental implications. However, a general callousness towards disposal and recycling of used plastic, is leading to this most useful material ending up in landfills or by the roadside. In Bhopal, UNDP India and HCCB will partner with the Bhopal Municipal Corporation - to create a sustainable value chain in plastic recycling. The project will be rolled out first in select areas of Bhopal and subsequently, will be scaled up. Speaking at the launch Mrs. Christina Ruggiero, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., “One of the first things that I noticed about India is our ability to generate wealth from waste and the resultant value chain that can be set up around this process. PET is one of those game changing innovations of humankind that made our lives very convenient and it has a significant post-use value. However, all the partners that have got together in this project, realise that we need to orchestrate an environment that encourages responsible use of plastic and also ensure its post-use recovery. The installation of the RVM machine at Mantralaya today and the launch of the PET Recycling program in Bhopal has made a beginning on what could potentially be a model that be scaled up multiple times. I thank UNDP and BMC in particular for leading the way.”