Asian Paints, Tata Consumer Products Ltd and others walk the talk
In 2019, Saahas Zero Waste collected approximately. 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste. Out of this, 12,000 tonnes of waste was multi-layered plastic (MLP) for 6 key brands who are our customers. This was as part of compliance with the regulation known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016.
Multi-layer plastic packaging currently is difficult to recycle and hence co-processing in a cement kiln becomes practically the only viable option for safe disposal of this material. Brands who work with us are now sensitized to the fact that they need to work with us closely and support us as we use this opportunity to clean up the reverse supply chain and ensure that all activities around collection, aggregation, compaction, and transport to the recyclers or cement kilns is executed through a workforce which complies with labour laws and environmental regulations.
Tata Consumer Products Ltd. (formerly Tata Global Beverages Ltd.) and Asian Paints are two of our customers who – like us, believe that the new EPR regulations serve as an opportunity for the industry to support social inclusion and ethical sourcing.
For TGBL we started a campaign in December where we worked with key collection partners in Karnataka to introduce health and hygiene to their waste worker teams.
The programme has reached out to around 750+ waste workers in Bengaluru, Chennai, Tiruchy and Pondicherry. We will be conducting more engagement sessions with waste workers in the upcoming months at different locations.
The sessions spoke about simple practices that can be followed to mitigate health issues. Waste workers typically carry very heavy bags as they move materials. Our sessions and training included safe manual handling techniques to ensure safe handling of heavy waste. We also worked with them to understand the connection between wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and skin related ailments.
For companies like Asian Paints, we have gone a step ahead and enrolled entrepreneurs from the informal sector. We are hand-holding these entrepreneurs and taking them through our entire social inclusion process so that they implement complete compliance to environment and labour regulations.