G20’s circular economy coalition of 39 corporate biggies kicks off on July 27

Naresh Pal Gangwar, Additional Secretary in the ministry, told this newspaper that till now only individual companies were taking some initiatives to promote circular economy.

Published: 27th July 2023 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2023 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

Bhupender Yadav.

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  In what could be one of the biggest achievements of this year’s G20 under India’s presidency, 39 global corporate giants have forged an industry coalition to boost the circular economy, which is a system to reuse and regenerate materials that minimise waste. While governments will act as catalysts, the coalition will be run by the industries themselves.

Called the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC), it will be launched in Chennai on Thursday at the ongoing 4th Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group meeting by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav. 

The 39 corporate biggies are from 11 different countries. Eighteen of them are from India, including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Aditya Birla Group and JSW Steel. Global FMCG brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestle; electrical equipment major Siemens from Germany; and Japan’s Kai Corporation are part of the coalition.

Naresh Pal Gangwar, Additional Secretary in the ministry, told this newspaper that till now only individual companies were taking some initiatives to promote circular economy. “This is the first time governments are pushing the global corporate houses to form a coalition for global good. We hope these 39 firms will convince others and more companies would come on board. RECEIC will be run by the industries. Governments will only give guidance and policy push.”

On India’s efforts to tackle plastic waste, he said the Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) targets were being proactively implemented. “During 2021-22, about 41 lakh tonnes of plastic waste was generated in India, of which 30 lakh tonnes were allocated to 2,000-odd registered recyclers and plastic waste processing units,” he said. The ministry is in the process of framing EPR guidelines for used oil and end-of-life vehicles as well.

Satyendra Kumar, director at the ministry, said so far about 2.6 million tonnes worth of EPR certificates have been generated by plastic waste processors (PWPs), which includes recyclers, waste-to-energy plants etc.. On the flip side, as many as 1.51 million tonnes of those certificated have been purchased by PIBOs (Producers, Importers and Brand owners) against 2022-23 obligations. 

1,715 plastic waste processors registered

“All those who received EPepR authorisation will be filing their compliance report before October 31 this year,” Satyendra Kumar said. The Union environment ministry notified the EPepR guidelines for plastic packaging through the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, on February 16, 2022.

The guidelines stipulate mandatory targets on EP R, recycling of plastic packaging waste, reuse of rigid plastic packaging and use of recycled plastic content. The guidelines provide for moving towards sustainable plastic packaging and reducing the plastic footprint.

The implementation of a national ban on single-use plastic items coupled with extended producer responsibility on plastic packaging is expected to reduce pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste.

Junior minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha in last March, said a total of 6,186 PIBOs have been registered on the centralised online EPepR portal on plastic packaging. The registered PIBOs cumulatively have around 2.32 million tons of plastic packaging covered under EPepR for 2022-23, which includes material used for packing food.

Further, 1,715 plastic waste processors have been registered on the EPepR portal with a cumulative plastic waste processing capacity of 17 million tonnes per annum.

Seven foreign ministers  to join inaugural event
Seven foreign ministers — four from G20 countries Italy, Canada, European Union and France and three invitees, the UAE, Mauritius and Denmark — will participate in the launch of the RECEIC

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