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Cross-Industry Collaboration Is Needed To Enhance Recycling Value Chain
The topic of collaboration, though broad, is significant in every way and also helps us to understand the importance and effects of it
Photo Credit : ShutterStock
Industries do not work in solace anymore. They need to practice an inclusive approach for a complete cycle when it comes to recycling. This requires a common ground for collaboration and educating everyone from the ground level worker to the senior MNC personnel.
Recognising this BW Businessworld organised BW Recycling Awards and Conclave 2020. As a part of this forum, a panel discussion was organised, chaired by Urvi Shrivastav Editorial Lead, BW CFO World, BW Businessworld. The discussion began with Avinash Kumar Balyan, (Executive Director, Earthood Services Pvt. Ltd. (ESPL)) sharing his views on recycling. He said that recycling is important because we have seen in the past, uncertainty in the supply chain. “There are many raw materials for the entire process of the supply chain which generally are produced in only a few countries, which make them prone to many uncertainties including political instability or socio-economic risks. The processes of uncertainty, climate change, recycling, refurbishment, etc. are factors that are collaboratively giving rise to one phenomenon which is cross-industry collaboration. Now that we know that cross-industry collaboration is very important and how to go about it – as there are many ways to do it as many companies are coming forward to it,” he stated.
There is a development in responsible business alliances and industry-wide framework for electronics production and recycling. Some raw materials and electronics are being recycled – around 17 percent of electronic waste was recycled in 2019 according to the global e-waste monitor. “When we say collaboration, 2 things are very important. One is corporate-level collaboration, in which we talk about manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, although in this case, the government doesn’t play a key role but in the next form of collaboration which is an extended collaboration, the government and NGOs play a key role. There are challenges in the entire process of collaboration also, such as producers perceive that recycling materials are risky due to inconsistence supply, at times unknown technical performance and this uncertainty and demand for recycled materials prevent recyclers from investing in new materials and developing of their R&D, innovation and progress,” mentioned Avinash Kumar Balyan.
Cross-industry collaboration is the need of the 21st century, since globalisation. According to Sahil Ghai – Marketing Manager, The Shakti Plastics Industries, the latest industry collaborations that are going on in the plastic sector and the key players in the intersectional industry methods of recycling are lead producers which are the key stakeholders who are the major contributors towards either the plastic-based industry or the e-based industry. “Another major stakeholder is the Ministry of Environment which put forward and consistently improved the policies and the roles who have been making this whole implementation of the plastic-based industries more transparent. Beyond this, what is required is that the local pollution control boards also play a major role in this as well such as State Pollution Boards. They are also aware and have started including awareness campaigns and bringing other stakeholders such as local NGOs and the producers and the recyclers on the same platform so that they can all share knowledge and share their resources, and contribute together. NGOs are very important because they are the local outreach, they know the local language, they know the local culture and they also support in executing this plastic waste collection mechanism from the Panchayats and from the local bodies because they have better interaction at the grass-root level, as compared to somebody working in the metro cities,” he stated.
Pranshu Singhal – Founder & CEO, Karo Sambhav also shared his views very enthusiastically. He mentioned, “If you were to talk of any waste in India, today majority of the waste is managed by the informal sector. We can talk about any waste stream. We have started seeing some shift towards formalisation but still, the larger part is managed by the informal sector. The big challenge is of
including the informal sector into the formal economy. The biggest part includes how to reach each and every individual at scale because the informal sector itself is fairly a large term. It has multiple tiers in itself. Generally people reach till the aggregators (smaller aggregators below the larger aggregators) but reaching out to each and every individual who is involved in rag-picking or in waste management becomes a tremendous exercise. Here, the work which has been done by certain civil society organisations in the past and certain municipalities have made platforms to formalise informal sector workers. I think the only way to approach the very last mile is via these channels. There are a lot of initiatives we have tried in the past while working with a few civil society organisations, NGOs but they haven’t given the kind of results that one would like to envisage.”
On a conclusive note, we can say that cross-industry collaboration to enhance the recycling value chain is the need of the hour. Every form of knowledge and resources should be pooled in together to create a better tomorrow, through organisations working together.