Plastic waste neutal. photo John Cameron on unsplash

Agra Nagar Nigam (ANN), the municipal corporation of the city of Agra, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Society for Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA). The collaboration aims to improve plastic waste management in the city, with support from global non-profit organization, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (Alliance).

The Nirmal Agra project plans to transform how plastic waste is managed in the iconic city. The program will help to address the issue on several fronts – by augmenting existing plastic waste collection, sorting, and processing infrastructure developing new systems, improving data capture and reporting, and introducing behavioral change program. It is a key private-public partnership effort to address plastic waste in India, which experiences one of the highest rates of plastic waste leakage in the world.

In addition to project funding, the alliance also provided support during the feasibility stage of the program, which started in 2020. The feasibility study included mapping of existing plastic waste hotspots and the formal and informal plastic waste management infrastructure in the city. Other information gathered included waste quantification and characterization and information to understand the informal waste worker sector in Agra. The findings from the feasibility study will be used to inform and implement plastic waste management infrastructure in the city.

Nicholas Kolesch, vice-president of Projects at the Alliance said, “We are excited to be able to work with all the local partners and contribute our effort and expertise to support Agra in its ambition to become a plastic waste-free city.”

“The project is also one of the Alliance’s key undertakings in India to uncover scalable plastic waste management approaches and models targeting local community ownership and operation,” he added.

Speaking about the MoU, Nikhil TikaramFunde (IAS), municipal commissioner, Agra Nagar Nigam said, “We are extremely happy to join hands with TARA, the Alliance and GoMassive for this pressing issue. This partnership will strengthen our abilities to tackle the challenge of mismanaged plastic waste, which is a big hindrance in our endeavors to make the city of Taj clean and green.”

“The reduction of plastic waste leakage in the environment is also critical to ensure resilient, sustainable cities and I am confident that this collaboration will take our work of effective plastic waste management practices to the next level,” he added.

Commenting on the partnership, Shrashtant Patara, chief executive officer, TARA said, “We are delighted to partner with Agra Nagar Nigam, the Alliance and GoMassive. Plastics are a part of our lives. As households, communities and society at large are making concerted efforts to ensure the judicious use of plastics, we need to be equally committed to ensuring that the waste generated is dealt with in a safe, clean and efficient way.

The Nirmal Agra project aims to do this, in a manner that makes business sense as well. It will redesign the plastic waste collection and processing system, using the strengths and initiative of people, to effect change that is both substantial and sustainable.”

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