India’s recycling industry is playing very important role in terms of its economic output as well as employment generation along with contribution towards sustainable management of resources. Looking at such an exponential demand for recycling resources and to draft the recycling policy in India, NITI Aayog and Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) organised an International Conference on “Sustainable Growth through Material Recycling: Policy Prescriptions” on August 6, 2018 at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi. KPMG was the key knowledge partner of the conference.
This conference brought together high ranking national bureaucrats, more than 400 delegates including 40 expert speakers from the recycling commodity such as metal, plastic, papers, e-waste, tyre, construction and Demolition India on one platform to discuss and evaluate the issues and bottlenecks to scale up material recycling in India.
Theme of the conference was to identify recycling policy prescriptions for the development and growth of material recycling in India towards creating more jobs, convert wealth to waste, protect the environment and take steps towards adopting circular economy concepts. Such a first-ever conference was participated and supported by domestic industry association (metal, paper, plastic, tyres, e-waste) along with international recycling associations of BIR, ISRI, JARA, BMR, EMR, ILA etc.
At the welcome address, Mr. Sanjay Mehta, President, Material Recycling Association of India presented MRAI’s vision towards greener, cleaner earth by promoting recycling of all recyclable commodities in India, converting waste to wealth and to become an eminent force that helps to reduce or minimise carbon emission and protect natural resources for sustainable & economic benefits.
Mr. Mehta also brought to the attention of honourable Minister Mr Nitin Gadkariji that India must concentrate on making a strong National Material Recycling Policy viable & suitable for Indian atmosphere, after taking into consideration the world’s best recycling practices.
Addressing the conference, Mr Nitin Gadkari said, “waste recycling policy can help in transforming the country’s economy.” There is a huge opportunity to convert waste into wealth, he further added. Gadkariji emphasised that more participation by the citizens is the key towards a successful recycling movement. Once the recycling policy is rolled out, recycling sector is expected to grow by leaps & bounds leading to huge economic growth as well as employment generation. The minister also stressed that converting waste into wealth will earn over Rs 5 lakh crore for the country.
"Waste management has huge economic potential in our country and waste to wealth is the need of the hour," he added. The minister further said that recycling will increase growth, create wealth, and generate employment. He further added that it can also help in eradication of poverty.
Mr. Gadkari also highlighted the need to fix short and long term targets in order to lessen reliance on non-renewable resources and also reduce adverse effect on the environment. He also said that such a movement can help in sustainable development of the country and also ensure well being of its people. The Union Minister has urged Niti Aayog to come up with a policy on material recycling.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog highlighted the benefits of recycling and reuse on environment, economy and the social sector and therefore the right framework to encourage recycling should be created. The requirement for scrap is projected to grow at about 11% CAGR in next few years. Unfortunately, owing to limited supply and low quality of scrap in India, organized players import various types of scrap which makes India the third largest importer of scrap, Dr Kumar said.
Speaking at the conference, Niti Aayog CEO, Mr Amitabh Kant said that Government aim is to see double-digit, sustainable growth of the economy. He further said that the government endorses the importance of recycling and firmly believes that it will benefit all major sectors of the Indian economy.