Plastic pollution in Asia’s rivers

 

India

 

Ravi Agarwal

12:45 – Studies have shown that when you recycle electronic plastics with chemicals in them, such as flame retardants, then those chemicals get transported to new products including everyday home products such as mugs. You are transporting the toxins from electronics to everyday use, and so the dispersion of plastics takes place. The concern is that many of the markets for these recycled products are price-sensitive markets so the poor buy it more […] so vulnerable people are more exposed to the release. The same happens in recycling units; workers are more exposed, so there are very strong [social] biases determining who is exposed most. 

53:15 – What is still lacking right now is looking at how you reduce packaging. […] How do you reduce the total amount of waste that is generated and reduce it at source? This is where the biggest challenge will be. The second big challenge is to reduce the toxins in plastics – some of them are very hard to remove. […] The third thing the private industry still needs to do […] is invest in recycling at a much larger scale, because currently recycling is at a scale where it’s not possible to use complex materials. The next question is how do you invest in entrepreneurial spirit and make [recycling] into a workable project. Waste management companies are coming forward and helping, but in upstream efforts, much more input is required.