July 27, 2018
Beverage companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Bisleri in Maharashtra, have started printing the buyback price on the PET bottles. The empty bottles can be encashed on their returned with a certain amount of money. This constructive step is been taken by the beverages companies to reduce plastic pollution in lieu of the ban in Maharashtra.
Although the companies had the option of keeping the buyback value flexible, many companies have priced it at Rs. 15 for one kilogram of PET bottles and Rs. 5 a kilogram on shrink wraps. These pricing has not convinced all. “There is already a system in place to recycle plastic. What we need to do 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,” Ramesh Chauhan chairman at Bisleri.
A spokesperson of PepsiCo said that the buyback value of Rs. 15 per kilogram on PET bottles is being printed on them. “We are 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.
“The issue of plastic pollution cannot be resolved in singular steps and requires holistic solutions,” said Dr.Vijay Habbu, faculty and expert in sustainability and technical advisor to plastic associations.. “Unless the role of plastics in medical, food, pharmaceutical and related industries is understood, the messaging about pollution will always lead to unreasonable action. In taking easy steps of imposing wholesale bans, India loses opportunities to set global examples of managing plastic waste.”
A report on the ban and recycling on it views that the buyback initiative might spread to other states as well like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Those already in the industry say that there is little clarity on the return of the bottles. “While the cost of printing is nominal, it is restrictive because we can’t supply bottles made in Maharashtra to any other state, and neither can we bring and sell bottles from outside the state,” a beverage industry official quoted.