Building a sustainable future requires implementing changes to the current way of living. We need to adapt to climate change by achieving objectives that reverse the damage. We also need to build the economy to help us achieve the prime goal faster. Proper waste management is one of the problems that we must solve expediently.
We need to progress towards achieving zero waste. It requires finding sustainable solutions and implementing them on a large scale. Here are a few things we need for better waste management.
- A better operating system around waste collection.
- Minimizing single-use plastic.
- Establishing recycling facilities.
- Increasing awareness and promoting materials reuse.
- Empowering communities and reducing poverty.
A circular economy in waste management is a model that promotes sustainability and incentivises recycling and reusing all the materials instead of disposing. This model helps reduce landfills, improve the economy, and empower people of lower socioeconomic status.
The following are six organizations trying to develop sustainable waste management programs by building zero waste businesses.
Skrap is a Mumbai-based organization started in 2017. It implements end-to-end waste management services for events, offices, etc. They also provide consultation and curate specialized plans for zero-waste management for all kinds of public gatherings, brands, and companies.
It started when one of its founders found out about Mumbai's incompetence in managing its waste. After discovering the horrifying reality of the waste dumping places, she decided something needed to change. She went through an introspective journey and minimized and recycled the waste from her own home. Her efforts quickly turned into building a sustainable and environmentally friendly firm that helps other organizations manage waste.
Skrap promotes awareness around waste and strives to inspire people to follow a sustainable lifestyle. The organization conducts workshops that teach sustainable practices for waste management.
Gem enviro management works towards recycling all kinds of waste from packages of products. They are one of India's leading Producer Responsible Organizations (PRO). They assist their clients in fulfilling their extended product responsibility (EPR). EPR is a universally accepted solution for waste management in environmental policy. India also has legislated EPR as one of the tools for recycling plastic waste and waste management.
An EPR authorization is now mandatory for every company that produces products in India. They must obtain it for every product. It stipulates that any company that uses plastic as their packaging is accountable for managing that plastic through its life cycle. These brands are required to give a full description of their recycling strategy during the EPR registration.
Gem recycling also organizes waste collections, segregations, and recycling. They have reverse vending machines that allow customers to directly deposit their empty PET bottles into it. These bottles are then taken to a recycling facility. They develop products like bags, apparel, toys, etc from their recycled waste and ship them pan-India. They promote products made from recycled waste. Gem recycling also promotes awareness of recycling plastic and waste management throughout India.
Plastics for Change is a for-profit organization that recycles waste. They partner with companies and NGOs and provide recycled plastic for packaging. They collect plastic through local waste pickers and provide their income through fair trade. Local waste pickers belong to the most backward communities. Through this circular economy, they are ultimately helping recycle plastic and reduce poverty.
The organization has developed a mobile app that lets the local waste pickers access fair market prices. Plastics for Change is also recently working on collecting coastal and ocean waste. Their business model reduces environmental problems, improves the economy, provides livelihoods, and fights climate change. They are also the first recyclers certified by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
Its campaign called Offset removes 1 kg of plastic from the ocean for $0.60. Anyone interested in being a part of this by giving a certain amount of money. They will pay the NGOs and people to intercept the plastic before it ends up in the ocean.
Namo e-waste is a recycling company specializing in effective and sustainable electronic-waste disposal. The company provides a door-to-door service that collects electronic devices from homes to its recycling centers. The reusable parts are separated there, and the rest of the material is disposed of responsibly. Furthermore, they take great care when handling harmful substances in these electronics. They also partnered with tech companies like Samsung to collect their e-waste and dispose of them efficiently. They aim to recycle at least 70% of e-waste produced in the country.
If you have electronic devices at home that are not repairable, you can call Namo e-waste and schedule a pick-up. They will collect any personal electronics and home appliances. Furthermore, they also handle reverse logistics.
Founded in 2001 as an NGO, Saahas zero waste collects all solid trash and diverts it from landfills into various other resources. It is an organisation that collects almost 77 tons of waste every day. As its clientele has grown, they have established a materials recovery facility that processes 16 tons of waste per day.
They present end-to-end waste management services and follow a circular economy. Not only that, they also provide on-site consultation and plans to manage waste sustainably for large corporations, educational institutions, tech parks, events, etc. Furthermore, they help brands to become zero waste. They additionally have e-waste management services. Not only that, but they also make upcycled and recycled products from the waste and sell them.
In 2010, Paperman started as a company that launched school programs about recycling in Chennai. After two years, they built a platform that mapped out all the waste pickers in the city. Later, they developed a mobile app connecting people to their local trash collectors. This app provides a doorstep collection service. They also enable corporations to fulfill their extended product responsibility (EPR). Paperman also provides data and strategies for waste management by partnering with local governing bodies. They offer consulting services on recycling to the public and private sectors.
Through the circular economy, they give the money made to local NGOs that manage waste. They also provide social financing to the people in the informal sector.
Achieving zero waste does not require one person doing everything, but many people to do a little. We all need to do our part by making a conscious effort and living sustainably. There are only six mentioned, but many more organizations are working towards achieving sustainable waste management. These companies are doing things that are beneficial for the environment and the economy.