Closing the Loop on Plastic Waste

Creation of ethical supply chain for plastic waste, formalisation of informal waste entrepreneurs and decentralised waste processing to supply high quality raw material for plastic recycling.

By

Saahas Waste Management Private Limited

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Social causes

Beneficiaries

SDGs covered

Market of Implementation

  • India

Problem

Due to lack of sound waste management systems, most of the waste in India ends up either being burnt or dumped in the open. In addition, majority of the Indian waste sector is informal where people from the most disadvantageous sections are exploited. Specifically, with respect to the plastic waste which enters the waste value chain, the stakeholders are viewing it from different perspectives and in silos. The local government and companies that use plastic packaging are looking at waste management from a compliance or sustainability standpoint. Some organisations are exploring ethical sourcing of post consumer waste but have not ventured into holistic formalisation of the informal stakeholders and recycling of the plastic waste. Finally, a large part of the recycling presently being carried out is rudimentary and does not result in quality recyclates. This project aims at breaking the silos in the plastic value chain, involving governments, companies and upgrading the informal sector.

Solution

The proposed project looks at bridging the gaps between the different stakeholders to enable an adaptive system of plastic waste management where the requirements of supply and demand are met to ensure maximum resource recovery. This project ensures ethical and traceable collection of post-consumer waste through the formalisation of identified informal waste entrepreneurs. The social inclusion and poverty alleviation aspect of the project will involve integrating the informal waste entrepreneurs into the formal waste value chain by assisting them in obtaining business registrations, complying with labour and other regulations, adopting health and safety standards and building their capacities as formal entrepreneurs. The project also involves setting up of a plastic value-added services through a shredding facility. This will feed good quality raw material to recycling units that use the most appropriate recycling technologies. This project will therefore, reduce the emissions resulting from improper waste management practices such as open burning and dumping of plastic waste which is often the case with low-value flexible packaging. In addition, the channelization of plastic waste through traceable collection systems to responsible recycling destinations will ensure that plastic waste is not leaked into the open environment such as oceans and dumpsites.

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