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Pepsico collects, recycles its entire used PET bottles in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Food and beverage major PepsiCo India has achieved 100 percent PET collection and recycling in Maharashtra-- the second region after Delhi.

Under the extended producer responsibility EPR) programe, Pepsico India collected 6,500 metric tonne of post- consumer PET. The collected PET is 100 percent recycled ensuring zero percent landfill, the company said in a statement Monday. Since there is no producer responsibility organization in the state, it could not be ascertained the state-wide plastic footprint or total tonnage of PET bottle waste in the state in a year.

Similarly, details other producers' details are also not known, though many of them had committed to recycle their bottles after the state had last year banned single-use plastic with very limited success. According to the All-India Plastic Manufacturers Association, annual plastic production in the country is 13.4 mt, and is projected to touch 22 mt by 2020 as it is growing at an over 10.5 percent annually.

Of the total capacity, the association claims that as much as 60 percent plastic is recycled. The Rs 1-lakh crore industry has around 50,000 processing units, over 2,000 exporters and employs about 4 million people across value chain. Almost 90 percent of these units are small units, according to the association. As a part of its EPR programme, Pepsico has worked with GEM Enviro Management, a waste management company and set up 100 collection points across 36 districts in the state to effectively recycle used PET bottles, the company said.

The programme worked on strengthening the existing informal collection network involving over 10,000 waste- pickers and ensuring higher income by incentivising their collection efforts. "We have been taking a proactive approach to address the issue of plastic waste and we are striving to help build a world where plastics need never become waste," Pepsico India's head sustainability Juhi Gupta said in the statement. The company has been working across multiple states to collect, segregate, and sustainably manage equivalent of 100 percent of our plastic packaging by 2021, she said. Maharashtra is the second after Delhi to achieve 100 percent PET recycling target.