Amid Plastic ban Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Bisleri print buyback value on all PET

Image Source: Free Press
July 24, 2018
To act in accordance with new plastic ban regulations and help check plastic littering in Maharashtra, big beverage companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Bisleri have begun printing a buyback value on all PET (plastic) bottles.
In this way consumers can return empty plastic bottles and will get paid as per the value of the buyback printed on bottles. And from its side the government has let the companies to keep buyback value flexible, most companies have settled on Rs. 15 per kg for PET bottles, and Rs. 5 per kg for shrink wraps.
However, there is mixed reaction from the industry as many claim that the buyback system is not fool proof, and could further complicate the issue. Like, Ramesh Chauhan chairman at Bisleri believe that there is already a system in place to recycle plastic. What is needed to be done is make it more efficient and profitable for the stakeholders (such as rag pickers), instead of introducing more processes in the ecosystem of recycling further.
PepsiCo is working with Gem Enviro to set up reverse vending machines, collection points and collection centres for PET waste bottles at several locations across the state to enable the buyback programme. Bu at the moment the company has started mentioning a recycle value of Rs. 15 per kg of PET waste on its products sold in Maharashtra.
The issue of plastic pollution cannot be determined in simple steps and requires complete solutions. The buyback value printing drive, which Maharashtra introduced as part of its efforts to check plastic pollution, is expected to spill over to other states, with many such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand also hinting at implementing similar plastic use restrictions. 

Also there is no lucidity on how and where the bottles can be returned — at retailers or at collection centres. If they are redeemed for a charge at retailers, the latter can return the empty bottles the latter can return the empty bottles to recyclers. 

The printing of price on the label may be nominal buy it is restrictive at the same time as companies cannot supply bottles made in Maharashtra to any other state, and neither can the bottles from other states can be sold in Maharashtra.
The solution to deal with plastic waste lies in adopting technology in collaboration with all stakeholders, be it more efficient recycling techniques and solutions or coming up with viable and affordable biodegradable alternatives to plastic. 

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