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A multi-stakeholder partnership to ensure a circular economy for plastic, kicks off in Mumbai

Hon’ble Ministers in the Maharashtra Government and Yuva Sena Chief, flag-off the project

Mumbai, May 04, 2018: Minister of Environment, Shri Ram Das Kadam; Minister of Industry, Shri Subhash Desai, Govt of Maharashtra and Shri Aditya Thackeray, Chief, Yuva Sena, brought to life a unique and model project, that could be the way forward for recycling plastic waste in the country. The political leaders along with Mrs. Marina Walter, Country Director, a.i, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mrs. Christina Ruggiero, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) Pvt ltd; Smt. Jyoti Mapsekar, Founder, Stri Mukti Sangatana, Mr. Vijay Merchant, Member Governing Council, Indian Centre for Plastics in the Environment (ICPE) and Mr. Krishnakumar Natrajan, Executive Chairman, Mindtree inaugurated this initiative that aims to collect all 7 types of plastic waste in Mumbai and recycle them.

The project is a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together UNDP, ICPE - nodal agency recognized by the Government of India to handle all issues related to Plastics and Environment in the country, Stree Mukti Sangathana – the NGO and HCCB – one of India’s top 5 FMCG companies - to create a sustainable value chain in plastic recycling. This model 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, and that too at a comparatively lesser cost and causing lesser environmental implications. However, our own callousness and irresponsibility in ensuring that all used PET gets recycled, is leading to the most useful material like PET, ending up in landfills or by the roadside. Under this project (1) current infrastructure of ICPE to recycle plastic waste will be upgraded (2) waste pickers will be brought under a formal program (3) recyclers for all 7 types of plastic waste will be tied-up (4) collaboration with Municipal corporations will be established (5) massive awareness programs on waste segregation and plastic recycling will be undertaken and (6) a full scale technology platform will be implemented to track progress and performance of the project. The project will first be piloted in 10 wards of Mumbai and if successful, the partners will discuss further scaling up of the project.

Speaking at the launch event, Mrs. Marina Walter, Country Director, a.i, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said, “Private businesses have a key role to play and are well-positioned to bring new and innovative solutions to address environmental challenges, such as plastic waste, using their on-the-ground networks and their ability to swiftly adapt. I want to congratulate Coca-Cola HCCBPL for taking on this important initiative."?

In her speech at the event, Mrs. Christina Ruggiero, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., said, “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. We have made a beginning on what could potentially be a model that be scaled up multiple times. I thank UNDP and ICPE in particular for leading the way and I am most grateful to our political leaders for encouraging us through this journey."?

Mr. Vijay Merchant, Member, Governing Council, ICPE, said, “The signature of all natural materials made by biological process is that they are biodegradable and bio-assimilable. The long life and desirability of plastics, which have made them, a material of choice for many applications is seemingly a disadvantage when it comes to their disposal. However, when handled properly, plastics do little damage to our environment. Plastics have the advantage that they can be easily reprocessed and recycled. It is a great honour for us that this project starts in our own backyard. Along with our partners, we are committed to make this a showcase project for the rest of the country."?

About Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) Pvt Ltd

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd, is one of India’s largest FMCG manufacturing and distribution companies. It is responsible for the manufacture, package, sale and distribution of beverages under the trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company. The Company owns and operates 21 factories. It also sources from and supports 11 contract packers’ plants. A network of 4,000 distributors and over 2 million retail outlets distribute the high quality, great tasting beverages manufactured by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages.

HCCB launched its first plastic recycling project in Bangalore in partnership with M/s Sahaas Zero Waste and then later in Hyderabad with M/s Waste Ventures, in April 2018. This launch in Mumbai brings HCCB, is a step closer to fulfilling its goal of initiating recycling programs in 50 major cities. HCCB intends to create an environment where every player in the recycling value chain, starting from the waste collectors to recyclers are connected. These integrated recycling programs shall be established through multi stakeholder partnerships to create an end-to-end ecosystem for plastic recycling in the country.

About United Nations Development Programme

UNDP works in almost 170 countries and territories, helping achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to sustainable energy and environmental management. UNDP’s programmes are aligned with national priorities and are reviewed and adjusted annually.

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