World Earth Day 2022: India's Only Plastic-Neutral Companies

Looking at India's climate-conscious companies and how they succeeded in achieving 'Plastic Neutral' status.

The new Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 introduced Indian companies to the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), for efficient management of plastics, based on the fundamental principle of 'polluter pays'.

Dabur India Limited


credits: companycsr

Dabur is the first company in India to become a plastic waste-neutral organization. Its journey started with its commitment to Plastic waste management rules 2016. As part of the We Care initiative, Dabur formed a consortium with other responsible organizations to collect and help recycle plastic waste materials for the Waste to Energy Plant located at the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Ghazipur. The consortium has been formed to strengthen the collection, segregation, and processing/recycling of Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) waste. After this success, Dabur is working with NEPRA on the EPR connect initiative in Gujarat. Organizations of the consortium collect Multilayered Plastic (MLP) Waste and send it for co-processing as RDF (Refuse-Derived Fuel) in cement kilns.


P&G

In 2018, P&G released its sustainability goals under the name Ambition 2030, under which they have set a target to ensure 100% of product packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2030. Living up to the company values, it has recently become a plastic waste neutral company. It collected, processed, and recycled over 19,000 MT of post-consumer plastic packaging waste, exceeding the amount of plastic packaging used in its products sold in a year. It is working with recycling partners in 75 cities and has been successful in lowering the usage of packaged material by more than 5000MT in the last five years. The company further aims to reduce the usage of virgin plastic annually.


Hindustan Unilever

With a goal for plastic to stay in the economy and out of the environment, HUL has facilitated the safe disposal of more than 2.3 lakh tons (cumulatively) of post-consumer-use plastic waste. It has grown from 12 sites in 2017 and collection of 6,500 tons of plastic to more than 160 locations in 2021 with 116,000+ tons of plastic collected. Hindustan Unilever Limited achieved plastic neutrality in 2021.


ITC

Over the decades, ITC has made industry-leading efforts in end-to-end waste management. Through a large-scale and integrated solid waste management programme, ITC moved beyond plastic neutrality back in 2021-2022.

Path to success –

Within the boundary of ITC Units, focused efforts are made toward resource conservation by minimising waste generation and improving efficiencies through waste segregation & recycling/reuse.
ITC also has direct experience in MSW management through its Well-being Out of Waste (WOW) Programme. The WOW Programme inculcates the habit of source segregation and recycling. The initiative currently extends to 400 municipal wards of Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, and several towns of Telangana.

Mission Sunehra Kal (MSK) Programme which covers 61,200 households, focuses on segregation at source as the key strategy to manage waste.

ITC has also been collaborating with various stakeholders including various municipal corporations, and civil society members to work on sustainable management of community waste.

The company is focused specifically on multi-layered plastics (MLP), to explore its end-of-life solutions that are environmentally friendly and financially sustainable. While energy recovery from multi-layered laminates has been established as an end-of-life solution, it is also working to develop Recycled Plastic Lumber (RPL) as another viable end-of-life solution for MLPs.

ITC also plans to progressively expand the boundary to cover more supply chain partners. Through close monitoring and reporting of waste performance data and sharing experience and good practices, ITC influences its supply chain partners to improve their waste performance.

India's plastic waste generation has more than doubled in the last five years with an average annual increase of 21.8 percent. This generation should be replaced with a circular model of reuse, recycle and remanufacture. A circular model can be effectively implemented only if companies fulfill their responsibilities and choose a sustainable path to growth.

This #WorldEarthDay, let's start at home. Let us reduce the burden on resources with a simple solution - segregation of waste.


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