The state ban on plastic bags and non-biodegradable packaging by the Himachal Pradesh government in 2013 was just the inspiration that IBHA wanted. We joined hands with Dr. N.C. Saha, Head of Indian Institute of Packaging, to undertake a pilot project in Mumbai called the “zero waste sachet-recycling project.”
A taskforce was created comprising of Hindustan Unilever, L’Oréal India, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, ITC, Godrej, Nivea and Marico. The main objective of the pilot was to incentivize rag pickers to collect multi-layer flexible plastic waste (sachet waste + food packets), which can then be recycled into useful products.
In 2014, we tied up with Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS), an NGO that works actively with women rag pickers and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Under their Parisar Vikas Waste Management Program, 200 rag pickers are currently collecting flexible plastic waste. Out of the 26 wards, SMS started this collection in 13 wards covering 235 housing colonies, 12 colleges, 10 hotels and 9 banks. Till date they have collected over 800 kilos of waste.
The All India Plastic Manufacturers Association (AIPMA) has also extended its support to this project by means of a recycler that can convert multilayer plastic waste into fuel oil and carbon. This is a zero waste process and has no harmful effects on the environment.
We are now in the process of expanding our footprint into three other metros and gradually to the rest of India.