Coke, bottler tie up with rag pickers for recycling project

Beverage maker Coca-Cola India along with one of its bottlers Moon Beverages on Wednesday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a recycling outfit, Harit Recyclers Association, for rolling out a project for recycling PET (or plastic) bottle waste.

The project, to be implemented in the Delhi NCR region, will collect, process and recycle waste in the NCR region, a top official from Moon Beverages said.

"The recycling will help the rag-pickers financially who effectively become stakeholders in the end-to-end value chain. There are many recycling plants in the capital but none integrates the entire value chain," Sanjeev Aggarwal, MD of Moon Beverages, which is leading the project, said. He added the facility will be managed by volunteers and self help groups and will aim to recycle over 1,500 tones of PET bottles.

Harit Recyclers Association (HRA), which represents close to 15,000 rag-pickers will manage the collection, sorting and recycling process to bring efficiency to the value chain resulting in cost savings and quicker collection, Moon Beverages said.

Key locations such as parks, supermarkets, hotels and hospitals, tourist points, schools, restaurants, malls, movie theatres and housing complexes have been identified to collect the empty bottles, which would then be brought to the collection and processing centre, sorted, and then crushed and converted into flakes. The flakes will be given to firms making PET bottles for recycling.

Monetary compensation includes paying a coordinator (who is a rag-picker himself). The MoU will include micro-level insurance for up the rag-pickers.

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