AARC – A first-of-its-kind recycling initiative

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Some of the leading corporations in the industry have joined hands to form the Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC). AARC is a first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to strengthen waste management system by engaging with various stakeholders across the value chain. Under the initiative, cartons recycling will be increased from 30% to 60% by 2025.

In the initial stages, 10 industry leaders from juices, dairy, pharma, liquor and packaging have come together to kick-start the alliance. The companies participating in the initial stages include, Cavin Kare, Dabur India, Halewood Laboratories, John Distilleries, Karnataka Milk Federation, Parag Milk, RadicoKhaitan, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies, Tetra Pak and United Spirits.

“Bal Vikas Dhara has been addressing issues on child rights since 1993. According to me, the rag-pickers are the real heroes in the Swach Bharat Movement. We first got to know about this initiative when we met Praveen Malik. He enquired about the number of ragpickers we work with an then suggested us to join hands with his initiative that aims towards the betterment of their livelihood. After some successive meetings, we realised that Tetra Pak’s initiative also aims towards providing better employment and wages to the ragpickers. It was then that we decided to participate in this movement,” said Devendra Baral, founder of Bal Vikas Dhara.

The used cartons recycling ecosystem has been built from scratch over the past 15 years. Despite many challenges, 1 out of 3 used cartons are recycled today. AARC, looks forward to step-up recycling in the coming years.

“One of the main objectives of the Swach Bharat Mission is 100% scientific processing of the waste. When we say scientific processing, it includes recycling. The ragpickers need to be given due importance. We also need an organized waste collection plan in place,” said Vinod Jindal, joint secretary and mission director of Swach Bharat Mission.

AARC will also look at creating public awareness to encourage civic society to make informed choices when it comes to responsible disposal. It also aims to enhance and impact the livelihood of those engaged in the waste trade through additional earnings from the carton collections and through social interventions.