Bloomberg Equality Summit: India Inc. Must Buy Back Plastic It Generates, Says Acorn Foundation
Firms need to devise a method to buyback plastic packaging and bottles that are discarded by consumers, the foundation said.
Indian companies must devise a method to buy back plastic packaging and bottles that get discarded by consumers after usage, said Vinod Shetty, honorary director, Acorn Foundation.
“Every bit of plastic that has been ever manufactured is still on the planet,” Shetty said during a panel discussion at Bloomberg’s flagship Equality Summit in Mumbai—the first in Asia. “I would suggest to all multinational companies who have been seeing their products in plastic to have a recycling system in place. You need to buy back this plastic.”
Shetty said involving youth at the grassroot levels, instead of just setting aside “token amount” towards corporate social responsibility, will help the country achieve its “fancy” dreams, in a reference to India’s target of growing its economy to $5 trillion by 2024.
Why can’t the industry step in, set up centres of collection and buy back at a decent price? Why can’t the companies which have made billions on bottles and canisters not buy back?Vinod Shetty, Honorary Director, Acorn Foundation
The Mumbai-based Acorn Foundation was set up in 2005 to campaign for the rights of hawkers and small traders. Their flagship initiative The Dharavi Project aims to change the living conditions of over 100,000 ragpickers in Mumbai through social impact programmes. Shetty is also the manager of Dharavi Rocks—a 30-member band that turns trash into instruments to play music. The initiative has trained over 5,000 kids since 2008 and performed at over 150 live events.
The Bloomberg Equality Summit brought together business and government leaders as well as activists for the first time in Asia to discuss inclusion and diversity. The key speaker at the event was Minister of Women & Child Development and Textiles Smriti Irani.
Watch the full interaction here: