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BW Businessworld

Governments Should Shift Gear From Regulator To Facilitator: Experts

According to the State of India’s Environment (SoE) report, an assessment of 88 industrial clusters identified as polluted industrial areas by the Pollution Control Boards (CPCBs and SPCBs) paints a bleak picture of air, water, and land contamination in the country

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The industrial structure of India has gone through various changes, especially since the economic reforms. However, in India, no major environmental reforms were initiated keeping in mind the impact of changing industrial patterns on the environment. According to the State of India’s Environment (SoE) report, an assessment of 88 industrial clusters identified as polluted industrial areas by the Pollution Control Boards (CPCBs and SPCBs) paints a bleak picture of air, water, and land contamination in the country. 

To discuss and analyze the government regulations and policies to promote recycling/waste management across the industry, BW Businessworld organised BW Recycling Awards and Conclave, 2022. One of the key apnels had the stalwarts from the domain: Nikeeta N Jain, Founder, Vardhaman Auto Recycling; Naresh Kumar Jain - Founder & Chairperson, Vardhman Namo Recycling Group; Gayatri Chauhan, Founder, GAIA, The Earth Foundation and Dr. Praveen Aggarwal, CEO at Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons. The panel was moderated by Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner, Trust Legal. 

Concentrating to the environmental policies for industry, Naresh said, “the garbage waste coming out from the industry is humongous. As a policy, we just have the home waste management but don't have any waste management for the industry. Due to lack of planning, people are doing hanky-panky as they don't have the permission to insulate their residue.” 

“If the government permits, we can reduce pollution significantly. But in absence of that, you are forced to give that waste to someone else who is burning. Unless we can organize this sector, we cannot do anything.” He added. 

Talking about industry point of view Nikeeta maintained, “The difference between developed and underdeveloped countries is their waste collection mechanisms. We need to follow Global Recycling standards for industries. As industry representatives, we can say that we are ready to do everything, but there has to be suggestive measures. The government can create collection mechanisms for industries and they will be ready to recycle on the global standards.” 

“The change can start from educating our next Generation by teaching, Recycling and segregation of waste. We need to promote it aggressively at the basic school level. Even our Dadi’s and Nani's have been putting up old clothes and making pocha out of them. we've been doing it for ages. It's just a matter of organizing this.” She added. 

Explaining the policy framework, Gayatri said, “India is a position to do much more than what India is currently doing. In the last decade, the initiatives and the amount of awareness have largely increased. There have been several campaigns, several initiatives, several civil society organizations, very keenly championing the cause of sustainability and climate change. The IPCC report, which has already laid the code red, demands more seriousness for corrective measures. “ 

“The national resource efficiency policy that has been initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forest is a very good step forward. It is aiming to cover seven sectors and that is actually going Beyond Plastics. Recycling is much more required in Industries, like the Auto industry or the building and construction industry where recycling is just not efficient. We are recycling only 1% of what we are capable of. We have the potential, know-how and technology. We just need a common bridge between all.” She added. 

Speaking about India’s recycling culture Praveen said, “I would rate India is one of the best countries for recycling. We look back into our own house. My mom, my wife doesn’t let anything waste. At every house, the clothes get transferred to younger siblings. Even the Newspaper we read is being used to pack Jalebi and Samosas by the Hawkers on the roads. We have the basic sense of recycling what we don't have is the right protocols. There is hardly any incentive for the entire value chain to start working on this.” 

“The challenges that we feel we face as an industry is multiple authorities and plethora of rules and regulations, and each state defining their own view. Our governments at the local level, state level, the central level need to shift the gear from being only a regulator to a facilitator. They should partner with the industry to resolve the waste management issues. Then only we would succeed.” He noted. 

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government regulator Facilitates awards Conclave environment