There is an urgent need to generate a market force and a value-based ecosystem around waste, according to Kalpana Kar, solid-waste management expert and social entrepreneur.
At the annual conference on environment and sustainability, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Kar said, “Unless we have a demand, a supply system (for waste material that can be recycled, reused) and competition with regard to management of waste, the current situation will stay.”
She said the mindset that people have towards managing garbage should change from dumping to processing.
She called on industries to address the last-mile problem when it comes to garbage management wherein industries segregate and dispose waste correctly inside their campus but this waste seems to go into a ‘black hole’ once it goes outside the campus.
She said manufacturers should implement the extended-producer responsibility and material used for packaging responsibly.
She said there were a lot of options out there other than letting packaging material into landfills. “Once the mercury from CFL bulbs are removed, the crushed glass can be reused by industries. Snacks’ packaging can be converted to polymer fuel.
Companies like Britannia are already doing this,” she said, adding that they were putting together a handbook of best practices followed by various companies.
According to A Ravindra, advisor to the chief minister on urban affairs, it was imperative that the corporate sector takes the lead in identifying social issues and implement steps for sustainability.