Leading beverage players join up for recycling initiative

In a positive step for recycling in a category with a very visible waste problem, as many as 10 leading companies, especially from the beverage space have come together and announced formation of a specific body to tighten their end-to-end waste management practices. The group has been named Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC). With members from across the value chain of the fast growing beverage industry – dairy, liquor, juices and also pharma,  some well known names have agreed to join the action group including Dabur India, CavinKare, Parag Milk, Karnataka Milk Federation, Radico Khaitan, Tetra Pak and United Spirits. More members from the beverage industry are expected to join the alliance soon.

“This is the first time ever that an initiative of this nature and scale has been launched. It is a strong platform that brings the industry together with one common mission – of radically transforming the recycling landscape and positively impacting millions engaged in the waste trade,” says Kandarp Singh, Managing Director, Tetra Pak and Chairman of the newly formed body AARC. With a single focus – to reduce the wastage of cartons so extensively used by the beverage industry, AARC has commenced its innings with a specific target – double the volume of recycled cartons in the industry. Going by an estimate, currently only 30 percent of cartons used by the industry is recycled. AARC members, through their collaborative efforts, will be working to push this volume to as high as 60 percent by 2025.

AARC’s proposed collaborative mechanism will have an expansive value chain including recyclers and even waste pickers. “ AARC will provide its member organizations the right platform to share responsibilities and bring maximum efficiencies to create a win-win for all: collection partners will collect more used cartons which will provide enhanced livelihood to waste pickers and recyclers will get greater access to a valuable resource,” explains Amitabha Ray, Chairman of Schreiber Dynamix. The alliance members over a period of next couple of months will chalk out a definitive strategy and road-map to achieve AARC’s primary target by laying down the norms for  selection of projects and identifying value chain partners .

It may be noted here that some state governments, especially Maharashtra have started to take matters into their hands. In Maharashtra, a pilot project to charge an extra 50 paise to 1 rupee, as a ‘deposit’ returnable when the packet or bottle as it might be  is returned, is already being tried out. This move by the industry might be meant to move towards self regulation therefore, before drastic measures hurt everyone.

 

By Ritwik Sinha 

Published on: Mar 28, 2018 

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