Pune: At an international conference held in New Delhi recently, it was decided that a national recycling policy will be framed by NITI Aayog. The stakeholders gave their inputs on it during the two-day conference.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “Converting waste into wealth could be more than Rs 5 lakh crore industry in the country and it will also create huge employment and can bolster the country’s economic growth.”
As per the Aayog, the policy draft will be ready within three months.
The conference was attended by more than 350 people including experts, higher officials and others, who had a discussion on sustainable living on the first day while on the second day it was the stakeholders who had a direct conversation with the additional secretary of NITI Ayog, IAS Yaduvendra Mathur.
Sameer Joshi, while giving Indian perspective on plastic recycling and who is also secretary of Indian Plastic Institute, said, “The points discussed with the NITI Aayog were making informal sector a part of formal sector, acknowledging their importance and recycling hubs should be of prime importance, creating trained manpower, employment opportunities for youths, skilled workforce, redesign of packaging, start-ups, social enterprises, collection, segregation, recycling, increasing recyclability of products and involve all stakeholders for policy.”
Ashok Kumar, while giving the Indian perspective on e-waste recycling, said, “Seventy-five per cent still comes from unorganised recyclers as technology-driven recycling is costly in the organised sector. Metal scrap of cars at the end of the life cycle is important and will become a big industry in the near future.”
“Maharashtra generates 19.8 per cent of e-waste in the country. Total e-waste in India 2018 was 30 million tons,” Kumar said.
Lalit Garg, Secretary of Gujarat Paper Mill Association, while giving the Indian perspective on paper recycling said, “Paper recycling hurdles of power are costly and also the policies are not suitable. 160 people get employed if 100 metric tonne paper gets recycled. We are also of the opinion to reduce, reuse and recycle. And the policies should be friendly for the association.”
Salal Sharif, President of BMR, UAE and David Nolan of Auto Recyclers Association of Australia Limited, respectively will support farming policy by sharing their best practices as also for infrastructural
Gurav Bhatiani, while giving the Indian perspective on construction and demolition recycling, said, “We have a new recycling opportunity and we will make an attempt to turn out into a positive outcome.”
Sanjay Mehta, President of Material Recycling Association of India said, “Material recycling has become a crucial pillar for the sustainable development and growth of the world economy. Many countries have reached recyclable rates exceeding 80 per cent whereas India’s recycling rates are at about 25 per cent only.”
“Whilst several policies and acts/rules have been framed by the Central government and its departments an overreaching National Material Recycling Policy that would holistically address material recycling has not yet been framed. NITI Aayog has taken the initiative in this regards and is in the process of drafting the National Material Recycling Policy,” he added.
A holistic policy needed, says Nitin Gadkari
During the conference, Gadkari said there are 12 thermal power plants along the sides of the Ganga river and the power ministry has issued an order making it mandatory for plants within 50 km distance of the Ganga to use recycled water. “These are the new things which are going to create a great impact on our environment, economy and at the same time, it is going to lead to the socio-economic transformation process.
If we can formulate the policy for waste… this can be useful for creation of employment and eradication of poverty,” the minister said. He said, “Waste in India is a huge problem but this can be solved through a holistic policy taking into confidence various related ministries like Highways, Urban Development and Agriculture.” He said that his department has made the use of 10 per cent plastic or rubber in bitumen roads mandatory and notification will be out in three-four days.