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Description of the Instrument

The instrument consists of periodic payments to the cooperatives of catadores per ton of recyclables
collected (and sorted) – independent of the value of the material collected – based on the provision of
this environmental service. Payment would be in accordance with the actual productivity of each
cooperative, and four categories of efficiency are proposed.21 Based on this classification, different
values for payment per ton would be established to be paid to each group (of cooperatives), which take
the following assumptions into account: 1. The amount to be paid per ton should increase as the
productivity per capita of the cooperative decreases. This is to stimulate especially those less-organized
cooperatives to improve their organizational skills and to increase their productivity.22 2. The average
value to be paid to each catador should increase as the productivity per capita of the cooperative he/she
belongs to increases.

cooperatives with a high efficiency would receive a higher value per associate (catador), in comparison
with those cooperatives with a lower efficiency. At the same time, it is foreseen that cooperatives with a
lower level of efficiency would be stimulated to dedicate time to improving their internal organization,
leading to an increase in productivity and improved efficiency.

1.3.4 Proposal for Instrument 3: Cooperative Fund

This instrument seeks to complement the previously described instruments, both of which entail the
direct payment to the cooperatives and probably directly to the catadores without any funds being
reinvested to strengthen the structural weaknesses found in most of the cooperatives. By creating a
Cooperative Fund it is anticipated that critical issues such as scarcity of machines, low levels of
organization and a lack of reserves to endure times of price instability can be addressed, leading to an
improvement in the long run for the catadores and their cooperatives. This would also allow them to
enhance their chances of being contracted by municipalities to provide urban environmental services.
The main objective of the fund is to reduce the vulnerability of the cooperatives of catadores. The fund
is proposed to be used for a wide range of activities, to be further defined with the cooperatives and the
technical assistance teams, but could include: • training and teaching programs for the cooperatives in
topics such as reading and writing, maths, administration and computer skills • creation of networks of
commercialization to strengthen the negotiation position of the cooperatives to be able to respond to
the demands from industry regarding minimum quantities and qualities of the materials sold to them •
acquisition of machinery and equipment including balers, carts or trucks that would improve the quality
of work of the catadores • availability of stock financing so cooperatives have a (larger) working capital
to be able to finance their daily activities without the need to sell materials on a daily basis, which can
be negative in times of financial crisis

Formal Integration of Waste Pickers into Solid Waste Management Systems

Local governments should formally integrate waste pickers into solid waste management by granting
access to recyclable materials, formalizing partnerships and issuing contracts to MBOs, and providing
infrastructure for sorting and other activities. They should also catalyze inclusive processes by opening
channels of dialogue with waste pickers, establishing multi-stakeholder platforms for participatory
planning, and giving incentives to cooperatives/associations and micro enterprises to enable them to
enter new niches.

Urban and Workplace Infrastructure to Support Safe and Healthy Workplaces

The data show that poor access to, and high cost of, urban infrastructure is a significant problem for
waste pickers. Governments should recognize the role that urban infrastructure plays in supporting
livelihoods at the base of the economic pyramid, not just at the top. Local governments should explore
the possibilities for providing sheltered spaces to waste pickers for sorting, storage, processing, and

equipment. Workspaces for waste pickers require adequate ventilation and occupational health
safeguards to prevent injuries.

waste pickers are not municipal employees. They are self-employed workers. They recover materials.
The labour that they put into retrieving, collecting, sorting, dismantling, breaking down, and sometimes
washing, converts the collected materials into commodities that can be sold as raw material to
manufacturing industries. Thus waste pickers are an integral part of the materials supply chain to
industry. Effectively this means that they contribute to national productivity and income.

Pune was among the first municipalities in the country to authorize waste pickers and itinerant waste
buyers to collect recyclables by endorsing their photo-identity cards.

Medical insurance paid for through the municipal budget was one such gain (2002); support for the
SWaCH Cooperative was another (2006); and space in the city for SWaCH+ value-added services and
activities was yet another (2012).

Personal and Socio-Economic Profile of Collectors

• 90% of waste pickers are women

• 50% are under 35 years of age

• 25% are widowed or deserted

• 30% are in women-headed households

• 90% of the women are illiterate

• 8% are sole earners

• 45% contribute to more than 50% of household income

• almost all waste pickers are from the erstwhile “untouchable castes” also referred to as
scheduled castes
• 50% started their work life in this sector

• most waste pickers source domestic waste

• most see no alternative outside this occupation

Conditions of Work

• 75% walk for more than five hours

• 50% work 9-12 hours daily

• all manually handle garbage

• 30% have been bitten by dogs

• common problems include:

– harassment

– insecure earnings

– no legal protection

– no social security

– unfair practices by traders

– vulnerability to skin, gastro-intestinal and musculo-skeletal ailments.

The Model Proposed by KKPKP

• direct collection of source segregated waste from domestic and small commercial generators

• maintenance of separate waste streams

• integration of existing waste pickers and informal waste collectors for materials recovery and

• diversion of organic waste from landfills into decentralized composting, bio-methanation and non-
incineration technologies.

• diversion of recyclables into recycling with the benefit of strengthening of the informal waste sector

• opportunities for up-skilling and upgrading work for workers.

The unaddressed expression of EPR

The government and industry must aim at partnering and establishing effective and sustainable EPR
implementation models. The idea of the EPR introduced by the 2016 rules was novel but lacked
detailing. The EPR for plastic waste management would require similar detailing to that provided by the
‘Implementation Guidelines for E-waste’ relating to e-waste. There is a need for a real-time assessment
and a state-wise mapping of producers, plastic demand and supply, thereby, formulating realistic and
accountable EPR targets. Furthermore, pilot EPR models for low-hanging fruits such as the completely
recyclable PET must be prioritized and explored. Municipalities may explore some successful models
implemented in the state of Goa which includes measures such as the following:9

ƒ Tie-ups with local dairies for paying residents a specified amount for returning washed, empty plastic
milk bags at the local dairy booths

ƒ Tie-up with Tetra Pak (company) for a buyback of empty packs

Pricing of carry bags

The PWR 2018 amendment has done away with Rule 15 of its predecessor aimed at the pricing of plastic
carry bags. It is envisaged that charging users for carry bags would be a key step towards initiating a
behavioural change, albeit gradually. Results of a study conducted by the Delhi School of Economics on
‘Consumer Responses to Incentives to Reduce Plastic Bag Use’11 states that in developing countries, a
blanket ban may not be the best possible solution and 82% of the consumers would switch from plastic
bag use to own bags if the former were priced explicitly.

In India

ƒ 94% of plastic waste generated is recyclable and belongs to the thermoplastics family, while the rest
6% are non-recyclable thermoset plastics.

ƒ 67% of the plastic waste belonged to the HDPE/ LDPE, 10% to PP, and 8.66% to PET amongst others.

The setting up of an MRF remains the next important step towards better management of plastic waste.
Waste in a segregated manner must be deposited at the MRF for the separation of its different
constituents. The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandates ULBs to set-up MRF for processing
sorted dry waste.

Biodegradable plastics:

ƒ The price of biodegradable plastic products is higher than their synthetic plastic counterparts. Hence,
tax exemptions, subsidies, and incentivebased mechanisms are necessary to help boost the market for
these products.

ƒ The focus for these plastics should be more on ‘bio-based content’ rather than biodegradability.

ƒ The quality and performance in terms of strength and thermal stability should be at par or close to
that of synthetic polymers. There is no dedicated testing and certification facility which is of vital
importance to assess the quality parameters.

ƒ As the market demand increases, there will be a growing need for an adequate supply of biomass
feedstock. ƒ Research funding has to focus on the development of innovative biodegradable products
with an emphasis on performance, technology development, shelf life, and related financial aspects.

ƒ Investment, apart from research funding, should also include strategies for market outreach and the
development of sustainable business models. Policy aspects also need to be included vis-à-vis
framework, promotional measures, and incentives along with the facilitation of testing and certification
standards. Biodegradability issues, such as ambient conditions for degradability, also need to be
specified; for example, products may be labelled as industry or home compostable, soil or marine
degradability, and so on. Investments for the development of bioplastic products would ease the burden
on plastic waste management, conserve petrochemical reserves, boost agriculture sector, and thus
reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint.

ƒ On a long-term basis, issues such as different raw materials for developing synthetic polymers can also
be investigated. A specific example involves the production of Nylon11 from castor beans. The physical
properties may differ from commercial polyamides but then this opens a whole new line of developing
sustainable feedstock which need not overlap with those related to livelihood.

ƒ Alternatives to plant sugars, namely, microalgae can also be looked into, wherein the growth can be
integrated with CO2 capture, thereby proving advantageous for both the sectors.37
Recycled plastics:

ƒ Manufacturers must consider the end-of-life impact of the product at the design stage itself
sometimes known as the ‘Design for Environment’ concept. It has been envisaged by the plastic zero
forum that a decision on the colour of the final product should be made keeping the recycling issues in

ƒ The consumers should also be educated by various forums, including schools to increase the
awareness regarding plastics and the ensuing waste disposal issues.

ƒ There is a lack of testing and certification facility to assess the quality of recycled plastic products.

ƒ Research funding should be directed towards quality, performance, and the inclusion of
environmentally benign additives leading to the development of novel products.

ƒ Mapping of waste streams is essential to concentrate on commodity plastics and their tonnage in the
recycling streams which may lead to a circular economy.

Recycled products

Recycled plastics have a great potential and impact on the environment. It helps to address the pre-
existing plastic waste problem and saves oil resources (every tonne of plastic waste recycled results in
saving approximately 3.8 barrels of petroleum).4

Scientists from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, have taken steps towards the development of
fabric from the recycling of PET bottles. This fabric is being used for making of T-shirts, scarves, denim,
and pillows. In fact, the jersey of the Indian cricket team is made out of recycled PET bottles.42

Blending of recycled plastics with fillers and additives will enhance the strength and usability leading to
value-added products.

Blending recycled plastics with fly ash can be used for developing fire-retardant composites with a wide
scope of applications. As the separation of individual plastics at waste source is difficult, recycling of
commingled plastics and inclusion of non-halogenated fire-retardant additives will to an extent mitigate
the problem of segregation while leading to value-added products with adequate strength and fire
Recycled plastics products

The business model for recycled waste products can be efficiently executed by following the key
strategies (Figure 9).

ƒ The raw material for this stream is the postconsumer plastic waste. There has to be an organized
collection and sorting technology (if possible, based on resin identification codes).58 The plastic waste
processing plant would do the segregation, cleaning, shredding, and palletizing. The palletized granules
would serve as the feedstock for developing recycled plastic waste products.

ƒ There is already an existing market for low-cost recycled products, such as flower pots, lids, and toys
and sectors such as packaging. Further, to enhance market value, high-performance products from
recycled plastic waste need to be developed. Thus, the indigenous research funding for technology
development is of paramount importance. Once the innovative products are developed, a centralized
facility for testing and certification is essential to meet the global quality standards. Since there is a lack
of such testing facilities, the same needs to be set up while engaging in research on product

ƒ The commercialization of these products can cater to various sectors, such as the construction
industry, non-food packaging, and high-strength furniture and panels with enhanced fire safety.
Model for an effective decentralized solid waste management

The Japanese Experience

Under the Home Appliances Recycling Law that was established in 2001, consumers must pay the
processing fee to have their old appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, televisions and air
conditioners) taken away and recycled. Retailers are also obligated to collect and transport the
discarded appliances, and the manufacturer is obligated to recycle the materials. With consumers
bearing the cost of disassembling appliances in the form of a disposal fee to recycling firms, which can
come to USD 60.00 for a refrigerator and USD 35.00 for a washing machine, the pressure to design
appliances that are easily and cheaply disassembled is strong.

“4R Strategy”, namely Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Recover.

The strategy seeks to functionalise a multi-stakeholder return and/or buy back scheme that will facilitate
the collection and return for recycling and reuse all categories of plastics that normally find their way
into our environment

ƒ Innovative Financial support for recycling and upgrading of plastic waste management infrastructure
such as financial incentives to promote private-public partnerships in the development and
management of waste infrastructure

A voluntary code of practice for retailers, consumers and manufacturers aiming at rationalising the
issuance of plastics, increasing the usage of plastic bags made from recycled material, creation of
convenient and accessible recycling stations to customers, and setting up of better standards for
imported packaging plastics

The creation of a plastic waste management fund with contributions from voluntary contributions from
industry, Government and other donors; and these contributions be tax exempt.

Supporting the development of alternative bags that are more durable, reusable and recyclable

Creation of a Plastic Bags Levy

5.2.1. Deposit-Refund System

It is a system where the consumers’ deposits will be refunded when handing in the used product.
Here, the consumer receives a financial compensation when returning a discarded product which
corresponds to a specified deposit paid when purchasing the product. Deposit-refund systems can
be divided into natural and artificial systems. Natural systems are where the real value of the
container induces the desire of producers to recover them. The refunds on such products have to
be high enough to motivate consumers to return them after end of use, instead of keeping them
for their own purposes or throwing them away. Deposit-refund systems are in many instances
seen as the best solution when very high collection rates are desired. In Europe, for instance,
many of the traditional deposit-refund systems for beer and soft drinks in refillable glass bottles
are claimed, where they still exist, to lead to an almost 100% return rate.

5.2.2. Kerbside Collection System

It is a system where the discarded products are collected in close proximity to consumers or
households similar to the way the ordinary household waste is collected. The large-scale kerbside
collection system is the German packaging collection is a great example of the potential of
achieving high collection rates in this system. Consumers may drop off sachet waste at collection
points that are convenient and of easy access to encourage maximum collection.

5.2.3. Bring System

It is a system where the consumer is expected to bring the discarded products to a container or
something similar, which is placed at a shorter or longer distance from the home of the
consumer. These systems include drop-off centres and recycling stations, among other things.
The packaging waste collection as organized in Sweden is an example of a system that mainly
relies on the consumers to bring the discarded products to containers, which are distributed in
various parts of the cities.

Thomas Lindhqvist specifies how producers can take responsibility for their products by
distinguishing between four different forms of responsibility [25]:
i. Liability: refers to a responsibility for proven environmental damages caused by the product in
question. The extent of the liability is determined by legislation and may embrace different parts
of the life-cycle of the product, including usage and final disposal.
ii. Economic responsibility: means the producer will cover all or part of the costs for collection,
recycling, or final disposal of the product manufactured. These costs could be paid directly by
the producer or by way of a special fee.
iii. Physical responsibility: is used to characterize the systems where the producer is involved in
the actual physical management of the products or the effects of the products.
iv. Informative responsibility: signifies several different possibilities to extend responsibility for
the products by requiring producers to supply information on the environmental properties of the
products manufactured.