94 percent willing to be part e-commerce packaging reuse, says survey

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) With e-commerce rapidly growing in India, a survey has said that 94 per cent people want to be part of any initiative for re-cycling of packaging material and contribute to the cleanliness campaign.

“Ninety four per cent people surveyed said that they would be willing to recycle for a small incentive,” said the survey by LocalCircles, a citizen engagement platform.

The participants were asked if they would take part in box recycling programme towards the cause of Swachh Bharat (Clean India) if e-commerce companies or their affiliates collected empty goods boxes for a small shopping credit.

The survey report has also been shared with the Urban Development Ministry and the Commerce Ministry.

According to an Assocham report, digital commerce market in India has grown steadily from $4.4 billion in 2010 to $13.6 billion in 2014. The economic survey said that e-commerce in India is expected to grow at 21.4 percent in 2015-16 to reach a turnover of $17 billon.

The rise in the number of people using e-commerce is leading to generation of a lot of packaging waste including card board and plastic. Waste generation in India is expected to increase from 62 million tonnes to about 165 million tonnes in 2030.

Of the waste generated annually in the country, 5.6 million tonnes is plastic waste, 0.17 million tonnes biomedical waste, 7.90 million tonnes hazardous waste and 15 lakh tonne e-waste.

About 75-80 percent of the municipal waste gets collected and only 22-28 percent of this waste is processed and treated.

The Environment Ministry had earlier this year revised solid waste management rules which are now applicable beyond municipal areas. The new rules state that it is the responsibility of generators to segregate waste into three categories – wet, dry and hazardous.

LocalCircles said it had prepared a list of inputs on “how e-commerce packaging can be recycled” from the responses it received “in the 3,40,000 strong Swatchh Bharat Circle – the largest national community for the cause.”

Among the suggestions received was that packaging of delivered products should be taken back by the product company in exchange for some discounts on the next purchase.

It also mentioned several other suggestions – customers could be given reward points on return of packaging material, drop off points could be created for the customers, a third party vendor could be empanelled by each e-commerce company whose contact details can be mentioned on card board boxes.

Another suggestion was that e-commerce company could mention contact information of a registered waste recycler so that the user can contact them to dispose the waste.

There was also a suggestion that entrepreneurs should be encouraged to invest in on-call junk pick-up business and customer could be given a choice to get credit in return of packaging material.

The Swachh Bharat Mission, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims at achieving the goal of sanitation for all by 2019. Its objectives include elimination of open defecation, conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging and 100 per cent collection and scientific disposal of civic solid waste.

LocalCircles has been connecting citizens through social media at local, city and national level to participate in governance and make their urban life better. LocalCircles has more than 1,000,000 citizens connected on it across the country.–IANS

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