It is likely to evoke the feeling of detestation towards our malpractices to know that Maharashtra generates around 4,40,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually. Recently UNDP joins forces with NITI Aayog to hold the first regional capacity building workshop for urban local bodies (ULB’s) on sustainable plastic waste management in Mumbai.
Aimed to provide practical solutions to the ULB’s to manage plastic waste more efficiently, the workshop reflects UNDP’s unreserved commitment to promote, scale-up & replicate a sustainable model for waste management across cities to achieve the objectives of #SwachhBharatMission.
Today many artisans are getting their materials from industrial processes and not from their own community. Thus, the focus has shifted to finding ways to create value from community waste. Having witnessed plastic as a freely available environmental nuisance, many organizations are employing the traditional skills of artisans to develop items of use.
One such recycled Plastic initiative was undertaken by Khamir, a craft organization, which up-cycled locally collected polythene bags into high-quality products. Long back, Katell Gélébart, a French design student interning at Khamir focused on developing products from waste produced by artisans. In Katell’s research, it was found that artisans are in fact, experts at reusing materials, and did not generate waste at all.
Mumbai ranks high on the list of regions vulnerable to impacts of climate change. Sustainable plastic waste management is critical to managing climate change and the environment. The Mumbai Climate Action Plan to develop climate-resilient mitigation and adaptation already prioritizes waste management.
We are already working with partners like UNDP to set up Swachhta Kendra to manage plastic waste and promote innovations that will help sustainably dispose of waste, create value, and help in mitigating climate change. We are thankful to NITI Aayog for this workshop and for providing a platform to urban local bodies of Maharashtra to share best practices,” said Shri Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The capacity-building workshop follows the launch of ‘NITI Aayog-UNDP Handbook on Sustainable Urban Plastic Waste Management, the handbook was prepared in consultation with eminent experts and leading organizations in the domain of plastic waste. This was followed by over 20 virtual stakeholder consultations including Urban Local Bodies, Recyclers, Corporates, Civil Society Organizations, Academia. The format included expert interviews, focussed group discussions, and technical workshops covering 14 Indian cities and 4 South East Asian cities. The handbook presents best practices and examples from cities in India and Southeast Asia that face similar infrastructure and plastic waste challenges.
The decentralized model for plastic waste management detailed in the handbook has been adopted globally and has shown the potential of plastic recycling,” said Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change Dr K. Rajeswara Rao.
“Maharashtra and Goa present before us numerous best examples to manage plastic waste and we are happy to launch our first workshop here. Learnings and solutions from this workshop will help in scaling up the workshops to other states in the coming months,” he added.
Cover Image source: UNDP India