Goa, known around world for its pristine beaches, is looking to reduce and recycle its plastic waste.

UNDP India, Goa Waste Management Corporation and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) have joined hands to recycle waste in the state. The joining of hands of UNDP and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) looks to create a circular economy for plastic waste. It also looks to generate value out of used plastic, helping to reduce plastic litter.

HCCB already has a plant that helps recycle the waste. With the launch of the official programme, waste pickers or safaii mitras, as they are being called, will be enrolled in a technology platform developed by Bengaluru-based Mindtree. Each safaii mitra will get an identity on the platform that will know what kind of waste each one of them is helping bring to the recycling centre.

As each safaii mitra gets the waste to the recycling centre, he/she will get paid for the plastic and other waste. Since the safaii mitras are encouraged to regularly supply the processing centre with plastic, they will be incentivised to recycle the plastic.

Once brought to the recycling centre, the plastic is shredded and converted into flakes. The flakes are then used for the manufacture of a variety of products that are of everyday use, creating a new industry out recycling plastic waste.

With the effort being put in by the safaii mitras, nearly 4-5 tons of waste is expected to be collected in Goa. Their effort will help clean the tourist city by remove the plastic litter from public places.

“It is a welcome initiative to establish circularity in plastic waste management and holds immense promise in tackling plastic waste management issue in the state,” Sanjit Rodrigues, Managing Director, Goa Waste Management Corporation, said.

“One of the first things I noticed about India is our ability to generate wealth from waste and the resultant value chain that can be set up around the process. PET is one of those game-changing innovations of humankind that made our lives very convenient, and has a significant post-use value,” Christina Ruggiero, CEO, HCCB said.