UNDP India partners with HUL to drive plastic circularity in India

INDIA – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with Hindustan Unilever (HUL), on a plastic circularity initiative dubbed Inclusive Circular Economy.

The initiative focuses on the end-to-end management of plastic waste by promoting the segregation of waste at source, collection of the segregated waste, and setting up Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for recycling all kinds of plastic waste along the value chain.

Under the partnership, the two firms will promote waste segregation at its source and the collection of segregated waste.

UNDP and HUL will also develop material recovery facilities (MRFs) that can accept all kinds of plastic waste along the value chain.

In addition, the project aims to promote the social inclusion of waste-pickers, locally known as Safai Saathis, in India’s waste management sector.

Inclusive Circular Economy will make government welfare schemes and linkages accessible to 20,000 pickers in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Cuttack and Kolkata.

The partnership is the first-of-its-kind attempt to promote the social inclusion of Safai Saathis at this scale in India.

The partnership will also help build the capacities of Urban Local Bodies for adopting the MRFs or Swachhata Kendra model for plastic and dry waste management in other cities.

Further, to ensure better waste management and recycling of plastic waste, the project aims to reach out to 100,000 households for segregation at source.

HUL CEO and Managing Director Mr. Sanjiv Mehta said: “We need collaborative efforts towards effective waste management.

“Our vision is one where key stakeholders work together to ensure the problem of plastic waste is systematically and efficiently addressed.

“The partnership between HUL and UNDP is a holistic and replicable model that promotes plastic circularity and collective action. The partnership will also promote the social inclusion of the invisible superheroes of our society, Safai Saathis, at scale.”

Ms. Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India added that plastic waste is one of the most concerning challenges in recent times.

“The plastic waste management program promotes an innovative multi-stakeholder model between municipal corporations, corporates, Safai Saathis, and people to work together for cleaner and greener cities,” added Ms. Shoko Noda.

“It also gives Safai Saathis, the face behind the country’s waste management system, a stable income, and dignified lives. HUL is a leading partner, and I am thankful for their continued support of the program.”

The project is a scale-up of existing partnerships under UNDP’s flagship Plastic Waste Management Programme.

UNDP said the project has so far reached out to 100,000 households on source segregation, diverted 8,000 MTs of plastic waste from landfills, operationalized three model Swachhta Kendras in Mumbai and linked 3,300 Safai Saathis and their families to government welfare schemes.

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