Pune: In a first of its kind, the brand audit organised by SWaCH, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association (MPMA) coinciding with World Environment Day, revealed that the city generates about 120 to 130 tonnes of plastic waste every day.
The audit of waste was initiated by the city’s cooperative of informal waste picker, SWaCH Pune Seva, which undertakes doorstep collection from than 6,00,000 households in partnership with the PMC. In the first round of audits, waste from 300 households in Bavdhan was audited for three consecutive days, May 16, 18 and 20, which was followed by an audit of waste collected during a river clean-up on May 19 at Garware Bridge riverside.
The findings from the brand audit are that 87 per cent of waste was attributable to Indian brand owners and 13 per cent to International. Fifty two per cent of the branded plastic packaging was multi-layered packaging, followed by single layer plastic (40 per cent), PET (6 per cent) and hard plastics (2 per cent). Eighty six per cent of the branded packaging was from food product packaging, followed by 8 per cent personal care products and 6 per cent household products. The top two brand owners had a 28 per cent share, the top five had a 50 per cent share and the top 10 had a 64 per cent share in terms of pieces of packaging (not volume or weight).
The findings from the audit were enclosed by Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner and HoD of the Solid Waste Management department. “We have been ensuring maximum recycling through segregation at source, integration of waste-pickers and construction of material recovery facilities for many years. The PMC was, in fact, the first corporation in the country to push for EPR through its bye-laws, which are pending approval at the State level. We invite companies to partner with the PMC and SWaCH to ensure collection of non-recyclable and low-value recyclable items as required under EPR rules,” he said.
Supriya Bhadakwad, a SWaCH waste picker involved in the brand audit said, “We sort and send all the hard plastics, shampoo bottles, carry bags, PET bottles and milk packets to recycling every day. But items like food product packaging, chips and biscuit covers, we cannot sell because they have no value. Companies using these materials should either change the packaging and make it recyclable or buy this sort of material from us at affordable rates. That way we can collect and sell it. It will increase our income and reduce the waste going into the landfill.”
Ravi Jasnani, President of Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association said, “It was truly revealing to see the different kinds of brands and plastics that were found during the river clean-up programme organised by MPMA and PMC. We are dedicated to the idea of work with the PMC to find a viable solution to plastic waste management in partnership with the informal recycling sector.”