AMC tells companies to clean up their mess | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD/RAJKOT: That packet of chips you ate or juice box you discarded is probably made of a non-recyclable plastic. Fed up with such waste littering streets and polluting the environment, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has asked processed food manufacturers and retailers to clean up their act.
To make Ahmedabad a zero-waste and zero-plastic city by 2031, AMC has asked plastic polluters to collect and manage their waste or pay the civic body to do the job.
Keeping in line with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a plastic recycling scheme implemented by the Centre in 2016, the AMC and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) will jointly implement the guidelines in the city. Plastics are categorized into seven categories, and not all products are recyclable.
For instance, while plastic bottles that fall into the PET category are recyclable, plastic bags of snacks, shampoo sachets, and chocolate wrappers are not.
The companies use multilayer plastic (MLP), consisting of one layer of plastic and another layer of material like aluminium foil. MLP is hard to recycle, which means it can only be disposed of using methods like incineration or by using it in construction.
So, AMC has asked companies that deal in processed food, pan masalas and tobacco, as well as food delivery platforms to help clear the plastic waste they generate. “The civic body will impose huge penalties if food processing companies do not make arrangements to collect their empty pouches,” said a senior AMC official under conditions of anonymity. The AMC has already started a series of meetings with representatives of various companies and has put in place a timeline for phase-wise implementation of the EPR.
Major namkeen producers in Rajkot are already collecting MLP waste. The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in 2018-19 had held several meetings with namkeen manufacturers, asking them to create a mechanism to collect MLP as rag pickers do not pick them since they fetch very little value.
Jay Sachdev, marketing manager at Balaji Wafers said, “We have appointed a couple of agencies to collect packaging waste that equals the amount of plastics we pump into the market in the form of namkeen packets. For example, we put 100 tonnes of plastic into the market, the agencies collect the same amount of plastic through rag pickers and send them to a place designated by the government for disposal.”
A 2020 estimate drawn by the AMC suggests that in every tonne of domestic waste generated in Ahmedabad, 92.4kg was low- and high-density polyethylene
A GPCB official, under the condition of anonymity, said, “Companies are being given two options. They will either have to bear the responsibility of disposing of their MLP pouches on their own or bear the cost of the arrangements we make to manage the waste.”

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