SWaCH has set up dedicated centers across Pune for daily recycling process, taking a step towards green future with proper plastic waste management. The plastic collected through these centers is being sent for recycling through which various products are made. In the process, the waste pickers are also getting paid for collection and segregation done by them.
Shortly after the State-wide plastic ban early last year, manufacturers were asked to eventually start collecting the plastic used for packaging and recycle it. However, setting up a system to ensure that this is done is proving to be a major problem. Considering this, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and manufacturers were trying to find out a solution. While the talks were on, most of the existing plastic was still going unprocessed. To ensure that a part of this plastic at least goes into recycling; SWaCH has started collection centers at different locations in the city.
SWaCH is India’s first wholly owned cooperative of self-employed waste collectors and other urban poor. In this latest initiative, waste pickers collecting the plastic are asked to separate the low-value plastic further, and then SWaCH collects it and sends it to their collection centres. The plastic being collected from these centers is then sent to the PMC shed from where it is segregated further. From there, the segregated material is sent to recycler in Palghar, outskirts of Mumbai.
In the past few months, SWaCH has collected more than 200 tonnes of such plastic. On an average, 1.5 tonnes of plastic get collected every day. While PMC has provided space for the centres, ITC is providing the financial aid. Chitranjan Dar, Head – Projects, EHS and quality assurance, ITC, said, “With the ITC-SWaCH-PMC partnership for Pune, we are taking yet another landmark step in building a model that goes beyond segregation of solid waste, to addressing one of the acute challenges of managing and recycling of the mounting multi-layered-plastic waste.”