Bisleri’s ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative creates awareness about proper plastic waste disposal

A big success in Mumbai

Anjana Ghosh, director-marketing & business development at Bisleri International
Anjana Ghosh, director-marketing & business development at Bisleri International

Sustainability and plastic waste management is a hotly discussed topic in India these days. Beverage major Bisleri International is one of the biggest consumers of PET and therefore is a big part of the ecosystem. To contribute its bit in addressing the issue of sustainability, the company launched the ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative a year ago. The initiative aims to educate citizens about the importance of recycling plastic in their lives, thereby bringing about a habit change of not putting it as a waste.

“Irresponsible disposal of waste is the biggest challenge and, unfortunately, not much focus is on users of plastic. All the talk is about waste management or how plastics are the real problem. With ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative we are trying to make users aware that plastic is not the problem. It is in fact collectible, recyclable and reusable. It is a valuable resource,” says Anjana Ghosh, director – Marketing & Business Development at Bisleri International.

Through the ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative, Bisleri is trying to channelize all kinds of used clean plastic for recycling. The lighter plastic materials like milk pouches, multi-layers packets, wrappers and plastic pouches which are consumed are in much greater volumes as compared to other plastic materials. The majority of these items are from daily household use. Since they are thrown in the waste and are unclean, the housekeeping staff or waste pickers do not segregate them, eventually leading them to dump yards. The ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative is trying to create a value by urging users to collect the used plastic separately at home, clean it and segregate it, so that it can directly be sent for recycling.

“It has been one year since the initiative started and I am glad to say that it has been beautifully received by the stakeholders. We have been very successful in implementing this program in Mumbai. As more and more people realize that plastics are a valuable resource and should not be irresponsibly disposed of, we will be able to solve the problem of plastic waste,” Ghosh says.

Presently ‘Bottles for Change’ works in 14 wards of Mumbai and a few parts of Thane and Navi Mumbai. The stakeholders involve housing societies, corporates, schools and colleges and hotels & restaurants. ‘Bottles for Change’ vehicle goes for collection of used plastic from the stakeholders on a daily/weekly basis. The collection happens through plastic agents (kabadiwalas/NGO partners/recyclers).

The process starts with an awareness session with the stakeholders, enrolling them in the program, encouraging them to segregate clean plastic at home, giving it to their housekeeping and from them collecting it through Bisleri’s defined plastic agents in those areas.

Over the course of last one year, through the ‘Bottles for Change’ program, Bisleri has managed to collect 4800 tons of plastic and recycle 1000 tons. The initiative has reached 500,000 citizens, 600 housing societies, 300 corporates, 200 schools and 400 hotels and restaurants.

Further improvements in the program

After working with various stakeholders for a year, Bisleri came across multiple challenging scenarios and ideas. Based on the experience, it has come up with an add-on project under the ‘Bottles for Change’ in K East and West wards of Andheri. In the new project, it has engaged with plastic agents (kabadiwalas) for the collection process. An application has been developed through which an individual can get connected to the nearest plastic agent who then goes for collection. After collecting the plastic, the plastic agents submit to the appointed recycler through which all the collected plastic directly goes for recycling.

Taking the initiative beyond Mumbai

With the initial success of the program, Bisleri is not only planning to expand in Mumbai but is also trying to take it to other cities.

“Yes, the response in Mumbai has been very good and we have a mandate to take the ‘Bottles for Change’ initiative to many more cities. We are looking to take it to six or seven more cities in India in coming future,” says Ghosh.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement , for editorial and for subscriptions

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter

As 2023 begins and FY 23-24 unfolds, will you support us?

What lies in store for the packaging industry in India and South Asia this coming year? Inflation, disruption of supply chains or environmental regulation? Or the resumption of high rural demand, continued investment and industry consolidation? Whatever happens, Packaging South Asia will be there, providing clarity and independent technical and business information in India and South Asia and around the world. We are a compact Indian organization bringing a window of fair and rigorous technical and business information that the industry can access this year and beyond. Please support us with your advertising and subscriptions, to keep us going and growing.

Thank you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here