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An Update - Project Prithvi

Building on the company’s vision of a World Without Waste, HCCB continues with its efforts towards plastic waste management.

HCCB in partnership with UNDP has expanded the outreach of its sustainable plastic waste management programme - Project Prithvi - to 36 centres in the country. The company with its partners has collected more than 69,000 tonnes of plastic waste in different parts of the country ever since the programme was launched in 2018.

Programme Objective

Project Prithvi, which is in sync with the government’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, aims to minimize negative impact and promote responsible plastic waste management practices through a socio-technical model. The programme is designed to contribute to all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

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Compliance with Regulations

Designed as part of the government’s Extended Producers’ Responsibility Programme as mandated under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, the project among other things involves setting up Swachhata Kendras (the Material Handling Facilities). This is where all kinds of plastic waste are collected, segregated, and then processed before it is sent to recyclers.

Infrastructure

Plastic waste is collected from different institutions, bulk generators, aggregators, and municipalities. The Swachhata Kendras are equipped with machines for sorting, cleaning, shredding, bailing, and agglomeration of plastic waste for back-end recyclers. The goal is to ensure that no plastic reaches landfills where plastic degrades into its smaller components and can enter soil and water, ultimately making its way to the food chain. HCCB and its partners work closely with Urban Local Bodies, Municipal Bodies, Recyclers, and several other implementation partners to integrate the plastic management system with the circular economy.

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IT Enablement

Working in sync with the government’s mandate for ensuring traceability of the entire recycling process, HCCB has partnered with some IT developers to create an App that could be used by all stakeholders across the value chain from collection to the end recyclers for real-time data.

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Social Inclusion

One of the stated objectives of HCCB’s Project Prithvi is to improve the livelihood and socio-economic conditions of the safai sathis (waste pickers). Apart from providing uniforms and personal protective equipment, the programme strives to improve the working conditions for these safai sathis. The Swachchhata Kendra is also equipped with basic amenities like safe drinking water, toilets and a safe working environment for safai sathis working in these kendras. The programme has positively impacted the lives of more than 4,000 safai sathis through more than 100 Self Help Groups in the country.

Way Forward

Plans are on the anvil to cover 50 centres under the company’s Project Prithvi during the current year.

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