Chennai: Local NGOs and organisations have urged the government and corporates to make a shift from the linear economy model of ‘take, make, use, and dispose(litter)’ to the circular economic model, backed by the recycling industry.
On the Global Recycling Day which was observed yesterday, Namma Ooru Foundation, founder P Natarajan, said, “To address the challenge of plastic waste, our nation needs to incorporate a two-pronged approach. First, the government needs to place stringent policies to eradicate single-use plastics. Secondly, the government, large companies and other stakeholders need to incorporate a mechanism to reintroduce multi-use plastics like PET bottles.”
The circular economy model is designed to eliminate waste, it is a model which ensures that one company’s waste is another company’s resource.
According to Central Pollution Control Board data, Chennai generates 429 tonnes of plastic waste per day, of which 80 per cent gets dumped without any treatment and lost to the recycling industry. On an average, Tamilnadu generates 15,437 metric tonnes of waste every day.
ExNora International founder M B Nirmal said, “If people want to know the value of waste, they need to understand the value of Oxygen, which is technically waste/by-product generated in the photosynthesis process. India is struggling to manage waste, especially plastics because we are following a linear economic model, which is inadequately designed to generate waste. We need a shift towards circular economy which substitutes the ‘end-of-life’ concept with renovation.”
It is said the Indian recycle industry employees close to 4 million people, directly or indirectly. Since plastic, especially PET bottles attract high recycling price, it is one of the best ways of income generation for a variety of people attached to the industry from rag pickers to the recyclers.