A New Trajectory for Recycling Waste: Launch of First-ever Sustainable Model

ITC India’s Solid Waste Management Programme scales the initiative for Multi-Layer Plastic (MLP) Waste.

ITC Ltd. announced that it is now embarking on the next level of its waste management programme through another unique initiative to recycle the Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) packaging waste, a category of waste which so far has remained largely unaddressed by the current waste management solutions and programmes in the country at the desired scale.

Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) packaging is the mainstay of the modern food industry given its superior ability to preserve the integrity of food. However, the absence of sustainable models in India to enable its end to end recycling has been among the most compounding challenges of the waste management authorities making them end up into landfill sites as a last resort. The waste recycling trade has a value bias in favour of single materials and single plastics as they fetch higher returns, leaving multi-layered-plastic packaging as an orphan material with few takers.

In a first of its kind initiative, ITC has launched in Pune a unique model for sustainable management of Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) waste in partnership with SWaCH, a waste-pickers cooperative, and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). In its first phase, ITC-SWaCH-PMC will operate one waste processing facility with a capacity to manage 200 metric tonnes per month of MLP waste, providing an opportunity to 3,500 waste collectors who collect dry and wet waste separately every day covering 8.1 lakh properties across the cityAccording to Mr. Chitranjan Dar, Head of Projects, EHS and Quality Assurance, ITC Limited: “ITC’s initiatives in solid waste management of which plastic waste management is a significant component, aim at providing a 360-degree solutions framework to address the critical issue of waste management through packaging optimization, resource conservation, recycling of waste generated in its operations, source segregation, collection, reuse and recycling. Over the next decade, ITC will deploy superior solutions so that 100% of its product packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable.  ITC’s flagship initiative Wellbeing out of Waste (WOW), focuses on providing an end-to-end sustainable and a scalable solution spanning the entire value chain right from awareness, segregation, collection and promotion, reuse or recycle of solid waste. The benefits of this programme extends to 77 lakh citizens of the country.”

The ITC multi-layered-plastic (MLP) packaging waste management system in Pune enables collection of good quality MLP waste straight from the source which opens up multiple avenues of end uses. The value realization from applications like recycling is made possible because waste is segregated at source and it is this value which gets transferred to the waste collector in the form of incremental income which is over and above the proceeds from sale of other recyclables. The model also lessens the burden on the municipal waste management system by diverting waste from landfill.

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