Ooty is leading the national narrative on plastic waste management. The district collector J. Innocent Divya, has inaugurated five reverse vending machines to collect and recycle PET bottles, which is the highest recycled plastic type in India. Aligned with the PM Modi’s call to eliminate plastic waste through strengthening plastic waste collection and recycling, the initiative will further reduce the plastic waste from the picturesque hills of Nilgiris, said the collector.
The RVMs are inaugurated at Central Bus Stand, Government Botanical Garden, Boat House, Commercial road in Ooty and Aringar Anna Bus Stand in Coonoor.
During the inauguration, the collector said, “The current linear’s economic approach of ‘take-make-dispose (litter)’ is proving to be inefficient and adversely affecting the environmental health of our nation. The solution lies in replacing the existing linear economic models with circular economic models via stop using the non-recycled plastics like poly bags, straws/stirrers, plastic cutlery and food containers, Thermocol decoration etc. and ensuring the recycling of highly recycled plastics such as PET and HDPE bottles. The aim is to ensure the collection and recycling of every last plastic bottle consumed in Ooty, be it a water/juice/oil/personal care/home care product. Increased awareness about plastic recycling amongst the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators will also help to tap a new revenue stream and generate new job opportunities for our nation.”
The depositor will be rewarded a cashback PayTM coupon for every plastic bottle deposited. These machines can shred and store up to 1,500 plastic bottles, which will later be transported to the recyclers based in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The recyclers will turn these bottles into flakes/granules to prepare textile thread to produce T-shirts, athletic shoes, luggage, upholstery and sweaters; fiberfill for sleeping bags and winter coats; industrial strapping, sheet and film; automotive parts, such as luggage racks, headliners, fuse boxes, bumpers, grilles, door panels etc.
Ajay Mishra, CEO – Biocrux, manufacturers of the RVM machines said, “To address the issue of environmental degradation, it is crucial to make the citizens aware about proper disposal and recycling of plastic waste. In our current practices, we litter highly recyclable plastic packaging materials like PET bottles post usage, which can be traded since it attracts a high recycling value. A person can earn between ₹25 to ₹35 per kilogram of PET bottles. I urge the citizens of this beautiful valley to reduce their dependency of plastic packaging and reuse & recycle as much as possible, in line with the national dream of Plastic Waste Free India.”
According to the NCL – CSIR study, the rate of PET recycling stands at 80% in India, which is far higher than developed countries like USA, Japan, Europe, China etc. It is found to completely safe by a recent study conducted by the government research organisation Central Food Technological Research Institute and backed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for being a suitable packaging material for water, milk and milk products, oils, fruits and vegetables, sweets, cereals, meat products, fish products, spices, and other beverages.