Over the last few years’ stark images of animals choked in plastic and mountain of non-degradable plastic has been floating on social media, intensifying public concern. The rampant use of plastic is on the rise and very few measures have been taken to tackle this problem – Plastic Pollution.
Understanding the concerns and plight of the consumers and environment, FMCG brands have set out to curb this problem and address the concern. World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honour, help protect and conserve natural resources. On this occasion, Sanjay Khajuria, Director – Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India talks about the initiative they have taken as a brand to address the plastic pollution concern.
Activity on occasion of World Oceans Day
At the clean-up drive, the volunteers are divided into different teams to ensure the systematic collection of waste. At the end of the drive, the collected waste was sent to the processing facilities and disposed of responsibly.
Spreading awareness on plastic management
Occasions like these enable us to educate and drive behaviour change across the organisation as well as the people associated with it. Driving behaviour change through consumer awareness initiatives is a very important part of our efforts toward plastic waste management. World Oceans Day naturally provides an opportunity to create such awareness for an important cause.
We already have awareness initiatives for consumers in India on plastics waste management:
2 Minute Safaai Ke Naam, in Dehradun, Mussoorie in phase 1. We are expanding this programme to other cities of Uttarakhand in phase 2. Also taking this programme to large format cultural festivals is our other endeavour, where people gather in large numbers and food consumption is high. At such festivals, tourists and local communities need to be informed about proper waste disposal; a recent example is our initiative in Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
Hilldaari project in Mussoorie: While Hilldaari aims at setting up an end to end waste management system, through this project we also aim to bring about behaviour change. We have a year-long communication plan spread at different levels and in collaboration with different platforms and mediums of engagement
In collaboration with Gati Foundation, a Dehradun based environmental action and advocacy group; we launched a project in Dehradun and Mussoorie for effectively managing post-consumer plastic waste.
Standing out among the competitors
The aim is not to think of these initiatives from a competitive standpoint, but more from a prism of driving societal change. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, recycle and recover that paves the way for a healthier environment. To achieve this goal, we have collaborated with various stakeholders across NGOs, academia, state governments and waste aggregators.
Engagement of volunteers
In India, around 2000 volunteers participated in this initiative which took place in towns near Nestlé India factory and branch locations. The volunteers included Nestlé India employees and their families, NGO partners, distribution partners, suppliers, Government officials etc. Volunteering is an integral part of our culture and our employees regularly volunteer towards our various societal initiatives.
Long term plastic waste management plan for the brand
As a responsible business and the world’s largest food and Beverage Company, Nestlé India has been committed to tackling plastic waste effectively to protect the future.
We are committed to the 3R’s principle – Reduce, Recycle and Recover
Reduce: Since 2017, the company reduced packaging material weight by approximately 2190 tons by ensuring eco-designing of packaging in a sustainable weight.
Recycle: Encourage the use of recycled material wherever possible that can benefit the environment.
Recover: Support initiatives to recycle or recover energy from used plastic. This year we managed approximately 6000 MTs of post-consumer multilayered packaging waste as a part of our commitment as Extended Producer’s Responsibility.
Contribution of corporate to the society and its well-being
Organisations thrive when the communities they operate in thrive. As a responsible organisation, we have always been cognizant of societal needs and looked for ways to address them.
Steps taken by FMCG companies
- Moving to mono material
- Reducing the current use of plastics
- Reducing the usage of single-use plastics in out of home outlets
- Making our factories and our offices free from single-use plastics
- Engaging our employees and consumers in terms of creating awareness about the proper waste management
We were one of the first few companies to came together to work on pilots to manage MLP waste. We along with PepsiCo, Perfetti, DS group and Dabur formed a consortium and collaborated with IPCA to manage post-consumer MLP waste. This pilot was completed with the support of CPCB, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, some cement kilns, and waste to energy plants.
The project locations were: Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Roorkee. Around 683 MT of MLP waste was managed through this project, post which we expanded the projects to different locations. Today, the consortium membership has increased to 35 companies both comprising of big and small companies....