This Environment Day, ITC Limited’s Solid Waste Management Programme Scales a New Trajectory with the Launch of First-Ever Sustainable and Scalable Model for Recycling of Multi-Layer Plastic (MLP) Waste

Partners with SWaCH, a leading waste-pickers cooperative and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for recycling of multi-layer plastic waste in the city of Pune

ITC-SWaCH-PMC partnership in Pune for the first time create a scalable and sustainable recycling model to incentivize the recycling trade and the waste collectors to collect and sort multi-layered-plastic waste as a separate stream

ITC’s flagship solid waste management programme, Wellbeing out of Waste (WOW) for urban India now reaches over 77 lakh citizens in 10 states in 13 cities

ITC’s Mission Sunehra Kal solid waste management programme targeted at rural India is operational in 13 districts

ITC’s waste management efforts help cities of Munger and Saharanpur feature as Government of India’s Swachh Survekshan case studies

Chennai, 05 June 2019: 

ITC Ltd, a diversified conglomerate and a pioneer in promoting scalable and sustainable solid waste management models in India today announced that it is now embarking on the next level of its waste management programme through another unique initiative to recycle the Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) packaging waste, a category of waste which so far has remained largely unaddressed by the current waste management solutions and programmes in the country at the desired scale.

Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) packaging is the mainstay of the modern food industry given its superior ability to preserve the integrity of food. However, absence of sustainable models in India to enable its end to end recycling has been among the most compounding challenges of the waste management authorities making them end up into landfill sites as the last resort. The waste recycling trade have a value bias in favour of single materials and single plastics as they fetch higher returns, leaving multi-layered-plastic packaging as an orphan material with few takers.

In a first of its kind initiative, ITC has launched in Pune a unique model for sustainable management of Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) waste on an end-to-end basis in partnership with SWaCH, a waste-pickers cooperative, and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). In its first phase, ITC-SWaCH-PMC will operate one waste processing facility with a capacity to manage 200 metric tonnes per month of MLP waste, providing an opportunity to 3,500 waste collectors who collect dry and wet waste separately every day covering 8.1 lakh properties across the city, to bolster their income from MLP recycling.

According to Mr. Chitranjan Dar, Head of Projects, EHS and Quality Assurance, ITC Limited: "ITC's initiatives in solid waste management of which plastic waste management is a significant component, aim at providing a 360-degree solutions framework to address the critical issue of waste management through packaging optimization, resource conservation, recycling of waste generated in its operations, source segregation, collection, reuse and recycling. Over the next decade, ITC will deploy superior solutions so that 100% of its product packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable.  ITC’s flagship initiative Wellbeing out of Waste (WOW), focuses on providing an end-to-end sustainable and a scalable solution spanning the entire value chain right from awareness, segregation, collection and promotion, reuse or recycle of solid waste. The benefits of this programme extends to 77 lakh citizens of the country. ITC today has the distinction of being a Solid Waste Recycling Positive Company for the last 12 years

“With the ITC-SWaCH-PMC partnership for the city of Pune, we are taking yet another landmark step in building a model which goes beyond segregation of solid waste, to addressing one of the acute challenges of managing and recycling of the mounting multi-layered-plastic waste. We, along with our partners are looking forward to expanding the programme to cover the entire city of Pune in near future”

In the last decade, ITC has expanded its municipal solid waste management (MSWM) programmes to an exemplary scale in India. These are The Wellbeing Out of Waste (WoW) programme which works in large cities and focuses on all types of dry waste such as paper, metal, and high-value rigid plastics and Mission Sunehra Kal (MSK) solid waste management programmes which are targeted at rural areas and small towns and they take care of the overall waste management with both dry and wet waste. Both these initiatives are based on the fundamental principles of focus on source segregation, effective channelization of segregated waste, and enhancement of income and quality of life for all involved in the direct collection, segregation, and management of waste.

ITC’s WOW initiative operates by creating awareness about the importance of ‘3R’ (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) among the general public, school children and corporates. It addresses the growing concern on municipal solid waste and post-consumer packaging waste management by focussing on the source segregation and creating effective market linkages for transforming wastes to resources. This programme was first implemented in the year 2007 in Bengaluru; its outreach today covers over 77 lakh citizens, 33 lakh school children and 2,000 corporates in 13 cities. WOW has in the process, created sustainable livelihoods for over 14,500 waste collectors and over 80 social entrepreneurs. In addition to Coimbatore, Chennai and Bengaluru, it has now been expanded to Hyderabad, Delhi, Tirupathi and Muzaffarpur.

ITC’s Mission Sunehra Kal solid waste management programme is operational in 13 districts of Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The primary focus remains on source segregation and minimising waste to the landfills. Home composting was piloted to drive waste management close to the generator so as to minimise the environmental impact and associated costs. This programme, which was initiated in 2007-08 in Saharanpur, today covers 98,038 households, in small and medium towns across the country Only 17% of the total waste collected, which is untreatable, was dumped in landfills. Additionally, a circular economy model of waste management specifically for temples has also been implemented under this programme.

The ITC multi-layered-plastic (MLP) packaging waste management system in Pune enables collection of good quality MLP waste straight from the source which opens up multiple avenues of end uses. The value realization from applications like recycling is made possible because of the fact that waste is segregated at source and it is this value which gets transferred to the waste collector in the form of incremental income which is over and above the proceeds from sale of other recyclables. The model also lessens the burden on the municipal waste management system by diverting waste from landfill.