Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), along with its partners, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Bottlers Nepal Limited and German Development Cooperation organized an event, " Finding Sustainable Solution for Recyclable Plastics Opportunities to close the Loop for Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Bottle Recycling within Nepal”, which focused on exploring business development opportunities in PET recycling.
The event was part of a series of events organized in regards to addressing the social, environmental and economic impacts and effects caused by commercially non-recyclable single-use plastic pollution in Nepal. The findings from the study to explore opportunities and collaborations from multiple stakeholders for possible commercial and sustainable closed business loop solutions for PET recycling within Nepal was presented where representatives from the waste and PET bottle recycling business sector as well as municipal representatives and development partners participated in the event.
Dr. Ghana ShyamGurung - Country Representative of WWF Nepal, Ambuj Singh - Country Director of Coca-Cola in Nepal, Toney Anaya, Vice-President of Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability of the Coca-Cola Company Bottling Investment Group (BIG) in Southwest Asia, Dr. Claudia Hiepe - Head of German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Shilshila Acharya - CEO of HCI, gave the opening remarks to commence the event.
For the past 4 years, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Bottlers Nepal , GIZ&Ganesha Ecosphere have jointly supported HCI to establish a responsible, fair and ethical supply chain for collecting and recycling used PET Bottles under its program called Nagar Mitra- Friends of the City.
This initiative, focused towards creating smart cities, has helped recycle over 750 tons of PET waste, by sending it to companies in Nepal and India. It has directly and indirectly helped uplift the livelihoods of more than 300 waste-workers, or Nagar Mitras, and has additionally created green jobs for women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The workshop comes at a time when the attention of the entire world, starting the declaration of this year’s World Environment Day celebration, has shifted to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution. As one of the first series of events, HCI recently organized a Consultative Workshop on E-Waste - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, focused on exploring partnerships and spreading awareness about E-waste in Nepal.
PET is a very versatile and commercially recyclable type of plastic which is also highly demanded raw material for other products such as carpets, transparent bottles, fabrics etc.
With the Government of India’s sudden announcement on the ban on the import of raw PET waste, the need to explore alternative solutions to manage PET waste in Nepal has risen. In this regard, GIZ Nepal supported in conducting a comprehensive feasibility study to explore possibilities of a sustainable solution to recycle PET waste within Nepal.
“We are very pleased to see representatives from development agencies, private sector and environmental communities. Together we can do a lot. Plastic pollution is a major problem in Nepal today, and through our joint efforts, we can aid in the management of environmental pollution, starting from controlling plastic pollution. Reducing plastic use and stopping the leakage through circular waste management systems are key areas that WWF is working on globally," Dr. Ghana Shyam Gurung. Country Representative of WWF Nepal stated.
"Sustainability is at the heart of everything that The Coca-Cola Company does. The company in Nepal has followed through with global commitments on water balance and is on track to reaching their goal nationally. Similarly, we are now looking at strategic partnerships to bring to life the company’s global vision on World without Waste by 2030. Coca-Cola welcomes partners and stakeholders present today, to collaborate on this front and sustain and scale up existing initiatives in this sector,"said Ambuj Singh, Country Director of Coca-Cola in Nepal.
“I believe the solution is not banning plastic products but recycling it. There will always be plastic bottles, but we need to be responsible users. Re-use, Re-cycle and Reduce are good ways of managing plastic bottles. Nepal needs to find a new viable and legal way to deal with such recyclables like PET and optimize the use of these resources and also identify a more circular management of plastic bottles. German Development Cooperation is happy to extend its support in this sector,"said Dr. Claudia Hiepe –The Head of German Development Cooperation.
"HCI is a youth driven organization that promotes sustainable solutions. Along with WWF, we’ve formed the ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ coalition to initiate policy dialogues towards slowly phasing out single use plastics that are commercially non-recyclable,” said Shilshila Acharya - CEO of HCI spoke in the event.
One of our dozen+ social entrepreneurial initiatives is to establish a legal, responsible and environment friendly supply chain for PET bottles, a commercially recyclable plastic in Nepal with the help of our partners Coca-Cola and GIZ. With the announcement of PET bottles import ban by India, now there is an opportunity to invest in the higher value chain of PET bottles for its sustainable management in Nepal. I urge the private sector partners to consider this business opportunity, which can also provide a much needed social and environmental solution for Nepal."