Humanity is facing the brunt of packaging pollution because of our overdependency on plastic packaging and lack of understanding over its end of cycle disposal. An Ashtang yogi from the last 53 years, Dr. Vinod Shukla and his organizations are working to make our nation Plastic Waste Free from last 5 years. The aim is to bring together the key stakeholder i.e. government, corporates, media, academicians, to tackle packaging pollution and lead India towards environmental sustainability.
To fulfill our honorable Prime Minister’s vision to make India single use plastic free by 2022, it is essential to distinguish multi-use plastics from single use plastics.
A] How to define Single Use Plastics?
- The recycling rate & value, safe reusability and employment generation should be the criteria to define SUPs.
- The plastics which have no reusability, and which do not actually get recycled should be considered as single use plastic. e.g. Chips/biscuits/chocolate/gutka wrappers, Poly bags, thermocol, tetra pack.
- There is a post usage economy exists in India, which recycles used packaging materials into various daily use products. Certain plastic waste like PP, PET, HDPE serve as raw materials for other industries and support the recycling economy. Most of these discarded packaging can be reused/repurposed to make value added products, if collected.
B] What defines the recycling/non-recycling of plastics?
- It is the viability of collection and value creation post use.
- Nobody throws away gold! Jewelers melt the old jewelry and forge it into new. The same process can be applied for plastics.
- The small/flimsy MLP like tetrapack, FMCG packaging, polybags almost never get collected. Multi-layer packaging is made of paper+plastics+aluminum, hence it is difficult to recycle and it has negligible value in the recycling ecosystem.
C] How to eliminate MLP packaging/Single use plastics waste?
Creation, sustenance and destruction – these three processes in a sequential order represent the natural cycle. To conserve our environment and maintain order, destruction plays as important role as creation. Globally, one of the most commonly consumed plastic is – Multi layer packaging. Trillions of packets have ended up in water bodies and landfills in the last 20years. Globally, governments, scientists, innovators, corporates and entrepreneurs are looking for its eco-friendly alternatives but currently there are no widely producible alternative exist for MLP.
The first step to the solution is creating awareness. Awareness about the products/brands which have caused irreversible damage to our planet and highlight their eco-friendly alternative brands/products. A detailed report to be submitted and shared with key involved parties – govt bodies and policymakers across states, faith based organizations, bureaucrats, media across beats, NGOs, associations, etc., to comprehend the scale of damage caused to our environment by packaging pollution.
Secondly, the focus to be on finding a solution; it can be achieved through innovation, management, technology, etc. Our organization to conduct a national competition involving approximate 90% of India’s key colleges, universities, researchers, scientists, etc. to find a solution of MLP before Jan’2022.
Dr. Vinod Shukla is the nephew of late Shri Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Ji and a disciple of Shri Shri Anand Murthi Ji, founder of Ananda Marga. The organization is also striving to fulfill the vision of Antyodaya and Integral Humanism of Deendayal Ji by uplifting weaker sections of society, such as ragpickers, migrant workers, etc.
The organization is open to embrace new members and volunteers. The official website of the organization is www.pduss.org and the National General Secretary Mr. Anand Mani can be reached out on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by PT Deendayal Upadhayay Smriti Sansthan