Waste Management Startups Make India a Zero Waste Nation

Effective waste management could help increase GDP by 5 to 10 percent

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The heightened economic and manufacturing activities initiated to give an impetus to the country’s developmental journey has led to an increase in new materials and generation of waste. This needs to be recycled and reused. Therefore, the need of the hour for various stakeholders is to work in tandem to make India a zero waste nation, said Dr SS Gupta, senior development officer of DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, at the first edition of Circular Economy Symposium (CES) 2017.

In a conventional economy, everything is linear, from cradle to grave: extraction, production and disposal. On the other hand, a circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. It includes the 3R philosophy and demands industry to redesign its processes towards sustainability. Circular economy approach offers opportunities to design and develop goods which they can be repaired rather than replaced, waste is recycled/reused in the production system without entering the biosphere and biological materials will be managed so that they could be returned to the biosphere without contamination. By adopting circular economy approaches, businesses could achieve material cost savings and increase their profits. The key drivers of value creation include better product design, innovative business models, and reverse logistics.

On the occasion, the dignitaries released the knowledge paper on ‘Startup Ecosystem Survey and Best 10 Ideas: Eco-innovators/Waste Management Notable Startups/Organizations in India’. The study is based on a primary survey as well as secondary research on the waste management scenario, policy framework and scientific research papers. The survey focuses on emerging and established businesses that use innovative technology, challenge the existing business models and have a global outlook. The focus is on these types of companies because their needs are different and generally less understood than those of more traditional industries. It is pertinent to note that under the ‘Bharat Mission’ of the government, these types of companies have huge potential for rapid growth and wealth creation. Of the applications received, the best 10 innovative approaches to resource use optimization and waste management were selected to do a detailed analysis with the relevant information.

In his keynote address, Mr. Anirban Ghosh, chief sustainability officer, Mahindra & Mahindra, said that the biggest challenges were landfills and pollution of water bodies. The waste of one industry can be raw material for another and the needs is for the core businesses to manage waste and generate value to make businesses sustainable. He added that effective waste management could help in increasing the GDP of the country by 5 to 10 percent.

Mr. Anshu Gupta, 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner and founder of Goonj said that India has a robust model for recycling and reuse of waste and resources are available. Still there was a gap in recycling and reuse of waste material. He urged businesses and individuals to begin at office and home by segregating wastes appropriately.

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