Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), 3R WASTE foundation and United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) joined forces to discuss the best practises and challenges faced by industry to recycle beverage cartons and used beverage cartons (UBC). During a webinar conduced recently by AARC, 3R Waste foundation and UNCRD on “The Road to Beverage Cartons Recyclability“, several government & industry stakeholders along with waste management partners, recycling partners and academicians where they made their submission on improving the waste management eco-system. The primary objective of the webinar was also to cascade awareness and disseminate information amongst different target groups on beverage carton recycling.
Webinar on The Road to Beverage Cartons Recyclability
Dr. Kulwant Singh, Former Regional Advisor Asia UN-HABITAT and the CEO of 3R WASTE Foundation moderated the webinar. The eminent panelists of the webinar were Dr. N B Mazumdar, Chairman, International Academy of Environmental Sanitation & Public Health, Dr. Anupam Khajuria, Researcher, UNCRD, Japan, Dr. K.D. Bhardwaj, Regional Director, National Productivity Council, Govt. of India, Mr. Dheeraj Kumar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Karnal (Haryana), Mr. Sumit Jugran, Sustainability Lead, Tetra Pak, South Asia Markets, Ms. Sahithi Snigdha, COO & Director of Waste Ventures India, Mr. Gautam, Senior Executive, Deluxe Recycling Pvt. Ltd. (Maharashtra).
Dr. N B Mazumdar, Chairman, International Academy of Environmental Sanitation & Public Health said, “Industry bodies have to come forward and Government is very receptive, industry bodies need to be active industry bodies like AARC can take a lead, in collaboration and cooperation from states to establish solution models. Actions such as systematic collection and recycling by industry can be an important part of circular economy approaches the government is trying to inculcate.”
Dr. Anupam Khajuria, Researcher, UNCRD, Japan expressed that Circular economy has strong promises for reduced pressure on the environment and achievement of the SDGs.
During the session, industry stakeholders highlighted the encouraging role, technologies in segregation of wastes and recycling of beverage cartons. The technology of making chip boards from Beverage cartons and efforts regarding enhancing recycling of Used Beverage Cartons (UBC) were also discussed. One must recognize that end consumers and infrastructure both have a role in waste business success. It was recognized that Segregation at source is critically important for UBC recycling success.
Further Dr. K. D. Bhardwaj (Regional Director, National Productivity Council, Govt. of India highlighted EPR, and Waste Disposal Tracking and Management in various countries like Taiwan, Japan, Germany and Korea. While he identified key learning from these countries which India can adopt, he also stated that India is at a nascent stage of EPR, and processes will get simplified once India has NEPR functioning.
During the discussion, one of the barriers identified was not having a separate category for the Beverage Cartons. In the absence of separate category it gets classified as Code/category 7 resulting in inappropriate segregation which disturbs the value chain. It is also misleading as beverage cartons are fully recyclable.
Dr. Kulwant Singh while moderating the discussions highlighted that brands dealing with 28 states, 8 UTs and over 5000+ urban local bodies, create inefficiencies, thus a stable and uniform framework for EPR across India is urgent and necessary. Beverage Carton recyclability effort is aligned to Circular Economy.