Growth and development go hand in hand. For developing nations these two aspects are crucial. But what one tends to overlook is the vice that growth and development bring along with it- that is waste, primarily solid waste. Any form of article is it everyday utility items, food articles or even consumer durables generate waste. As developing countries ride the wave of growth, the consumption patterns of people in those countries too are increasing leading to the accumulation of solid waste.
There are several aspects to the issue of waste and recycling which need to be reflected upon when it comes to a topic like waste recycling.
- Countries or rather organizations that are producing goods or articles for consumption in foreign land using natural resources of that country. To what extent are they recycling those finished goods in that county itself?
- Goods produced in a developed nation but being consumed in some developing nations. Is the waste generated by goods after consumption in these developing countries recycled by the organizations in developing countries? This is a question that needs more clarity!
- The third aspect is the role of the local or national administration which recycles waste as an integral part of its civic duties towards the society.
Sounds complicated??! Well, let us look at some of the organizations which have a recycling initiative and explore how far they are directed in countries like India where their products are consumed!
Sony– Sony talks about initiatives being undertaken pertaining to recycling on its website. The company has started initiatives in countries like the UK and the US but the finer details of the extent to which they are being done in countries like India where its products such as laptops, mobile phones, TVs, and other accessories are being sold is not known
Nokia– Nokia has been aggressive and its efforts would have to be at a higher pedestal in a country like India where its initiatives have been started. So, it is the vendor or the manufacturing organization which has taken the initiative to recycle rather than leave it on the administration which is heartening. It could provide mileage to the organization in terms of corporate social responsibility goes and lead to brand building too.
The recycling initiative by Nokia called the “Take Back” program was started in India in January 2009 and the interesting part is that any bran’s phone could be disposed of as a part of the initiative at their centers! It would be difficult to estimate a number on the handset units recycled following the lunch of the program as there could be shades of grey to it. However, having said that, in a corporate world where profit is the cornerstone of doing business, even a small contribution like this gives hope for a green future.
- Where and how to recycle – Nokia India
- Nokia India – Take-back & Recycling Awareness Campaigns – Phase I
- Nokia – Recyling kicks off in India – Nokia Conversations – Eco news – we:evolve – Environment
- Nokia introduces its global Take-Back recycling programme in India
Pepsi – Pepsico has undertaken solid waste management initiatives with an NGO Exnora to cover 4,00,000 across three to four states in India. Its recycling efforts somehow seemed to be having a greater focus in the U.S. Their recycling website talks of recycled plastics being used in their new products as one of the many efforts directed towards recycling. But for countries like India which consumes a large share of their products, the proportion of the recycling undertaken could be an issue to consider.
McDonalds – A world-renowned food giant has undertaken efforts in this direction which includes recycling fast food oil. But the question that arises is how far is such an activity happening in India? Apart from that, what is the extent to which recycling is happening to articles like boxes, paper napkins, or tissues which are used in tons in their outlets across India and other parts of the world? The fact that napkins, boxes, and other items come from trees implies greater effort should be directed by the giant towards ensuring that it gives back to the society and nature in some discreet manner in countries like India by taking it upon itself to recycle the garbage like paper, etc and reuse it.
There are scores of organizations that like above are making some effort but need to enhance the magnitude and there are many which are not being led by profits and not doing enough.
All said and done, there is a long way to go as far as recycling is concerned. It has to work at different levels. At the level of the Government whereby it formulates policies and introduces stringent penalties which makes it mandatory for organizations to abide else suffer. Organizations need to take greater moral as well as a social responsibility to ensure ecological imbalance is reduced. Individuals (like you and me) need to make every effort possible to contribute towards this cause.
Every single drop makes an ocean and we all need to work towards it to ensure that the future is green and bright.