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Greening Kathmandu: PET Bottle Recollection Center sends off First consignment of PET (plastic) wastes

Greening Kathmandu: PET Bottle Recollection Center sends off First consignment of PET (plastic) wastes

10 March 2015:

The not-for-profit PET Bottle Recollection Center, designed and run by Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), sends off its first consignment of the collected PET wastes to India for recycling at Ganesha Ecosphere – the largest recycler of used PET in the Indian sub-continent. HCI announced for the same during a program organized in the Capital on March 10. 40 metric tons of PET wastes were being sent for recycling in the first consignment.

Minister for Industry, Mr. Mahesh Basnet, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Mr. Sunil Bahadur Thapa and Mr. Matthias Meyer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal were the honorable guests for the program.

The PET Bottle Recollection Center functions under Nagar Mitra- Friends of the City social enterprise which offers not-for-profit oriented professional services to improve the livelihood of socially discriminated waste workers in ways that improves the country’s urban environment with the help of hundreds of Nepali youth volunteers. The Center supports Kathmandu’s waste workers, called "Nagar Mitra" or Friends of the City in respect to them, by buying the PET waste they collect from Kathmandu’s streets at a fair price.

It is supported by an unique multi-stakeholder partnership involving Coca-Cola, Bottlers Nepal Limited, German Development Cooperation-GIZ, Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) and Ganesha Ecosphere. Additional technical support is provided by Practical Action Nepal.

This Social Enterprise aims to create green jobs for disadvantaged women, to improve the livelihood of thousands of waste workers, and to contribute to a cleaner environment of Nepal through an efficient and responsible mechanism for collection and disposal of used PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles in Nepal. 

Speaking at the event, Prashant Singh, Founder and CEO of HCI said, "With the help of young Nepali volunteers and support from our partners, we have so far been able to work with 100 Nagar Mitras to help them meet their education, healthcare and capacity building needs. Our yearly target is to work with 300 Nagar Mitras working in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur this year. On the other side we are also promoting sustainable practices through a youth-led campaign to gradually reduce the use of plastic bags, to start re-using biodegradable bags and by re-cycling plastic wastes- which would help to make country clean and green”.

During the event, Singh explained the guests about the whole recycling process of the PET waste before sending off the first consignment. A skit was also played during the program with a message of giving respect to the Nagar Mitras.

Minister for Industry, Mr. Mahesh Basnet said, “The recollection and recycling of plastic wastes has a big business future. Though this has been started with the initiation civil society organization, as a Minister for Industry, I will lobby in making this recycling industry foster in Nepal, which would not only help the industrial development but also make our country clean”.

Likewise, Minister for Commerce and Suplies, Mr. Sunil Bahadur Thapa thanking the youth involved in this entire program said, “Waste management is not a problem if we do it tactfully. If we can recycle all the plastic wastes generated in the country itself, this will evolve as a major revenue generating source”.

The Managing Director of Bottlers Nepal Limited, Mr Salman Latif Rawn said, "PET as a package plays a role in ensuring safe, hygienic, standardized products to consumers in a convenient way. However, as the PET bottles are non-biodegradable,  we  feel responsible  towards the community to ensure  that it does not create any pollution or degradation in the community. Hence, we are extremely happy to be partnering with HCI for this initiative, which contributes towards a cleaner Nepal.  "

Mr Alok Kohli, Country Manager, Nepal and Bhutan of Coca-Cola SABCO said, “Consumers are benefiting from industries around the world using PET packaging as it provides flexibility of weight and shape. However, understanding the importance of PET bottles required to be disposed and recycled appropriately, we have partnered with HCI and other stakeholders and The Coca-Cola Foundation is providing monetary resources for the project while Bottlers Nepal Limited is providing guidance and experts to co-ordinate and supervise the project.”

The German Ambassador to Nepal, Mr. Matthias Meyer said, “This multi-stakeholder partnership is an excellent example of how actors from different sectors complement their strength and interests for a common goal – Greening Kathmandu. Among all stakeholders involved, I would like to specifically highlight the important role of the waste workers, Nagar Mitra. It is estimated that around 10,000 to 15,000 waste workers are proving their service under difficult and hazardous conditions in the Kathmandu valley, every day. This partnership is a first step towards a decent workplace environment which enables them to fulfill their service to all of us. The second step starts at our households by segregating our waste and by expressing the respect to these Friends of the City that they unquestionably deserve.”

Kathmandu valley with its five municipalities (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Bhaktapur and Madhyapur Thimi) produces the highest amount of solid waste in Nepal amounting to approximately 620 tons per day. In a single day, waste workers collect 17.58 tons of waste PET bottles.HCI, Coca-Cola, Ganesha Ecosphere and GIZ have taken the PET recycle partnership to jointly improve the livelihood of the waste workers and thereby greening Kathmandu.


About the Partner Organizations

The Coca Cola Foundation is represented in this partnership by Bottlers Nepal. The company was established in 1978 as Coca-Cola product bottlers for the Nepalese market. It is owned by Coca-Cola Sabco Pty Ltd, a South Africa based group of bottling companies. The parent company Coca-Cola Sabcohas been in business since 1940 and operates in 9 countries mostly in Africa and Asia. Bottlers Nepal is active in the line of manufacturing and selling sparkling products under the Coca-Cola franchise for the brands of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Kinley. The company has also been involved in community development projects such as water recharge, women empowerment, improving education, water and sanitation facilities in public schools.

Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) is a youth-driven  and solution-oriented Nepali civil society organisation. HCI delivers impact by incubating and sustaining social-entrepreneurial initiatives. All actions of HCI remain geared towards building inclusion and resilience in Nepali society and economy. Nagar Mitra-Friends of the City- PET Bottle Recollection Center provides not-for-profit oriented professional service to improve the livelihood of socially discriminated waste workers and women. It organizes and modernizes the solid waste management practices in Nepal in order to make the country’s urban centers clean and green with active engagement of waste workers and waste entrepreneurs in ways that improves the country’s environment. Following the work ethos of a social enterprise, the center is run by Himalayan Climate Initiative.

Ganesha Ecosphere Ltd (GEL), a listed company in India, is the largest recycler of used PET in the Indian subcontinent. GEL is the first recycler to have an approved license for importing PET waste from Nepal to India.

As a federal enterprise, Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ offers customised solutions to complex challenges. The services delivered by the GIZ draw on a wealth of regional and technical expertise and tried and tested management know-how. GIZ operates throughout Germany and in more than 130 countries worldwide. Our registered offices are in Bonn and Eschborn. We have more than 16,000 staff across the globe. The above described partnership is initiated under the develoPPP.de Programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).