To strengthen the end-to-end waste-management ecosystem and increase recycling efforts through stakeholder engagement across the value chain, leading corporations have come together to form the Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC). It is a first-of-its-kind initiative to promote and increase recycling by pooling resources to build an efficient waste-management process, meant to be attained by engaging with waste pickers, scrap dealers, waste-management companies, recyclers and NGOs. A positive outcome of this would be (if implemented fairly) its impact on the millions who work in the waste trade but get a pittance out of it. The exact details of how this will be achieved wasn’t shared, though, despite CB’s queries on the same.

The goal of this initiative is to increase recycling of used cartons from approximately 30 per cent today to 60 per cent by 2025 (absolute numbers are missing). Some of the co-founding members are CavinKare, Dabur India, Diageo India, Halewood Laboratories, John Distilleries, Karnataka Milk Federation, Parag Milk, Radico Khaitan and Schreiber Dynamix Dairies. The alliance will collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to contribute on policymaking as part of its advocacy work. AARC is a joint initiative of the industry and Tetra Pak and is headquartered in New Delhi.

In a press release shared with CB, CK Mishra, secretary, ministry of environment, forest & climate change, was quoted as saying, ‘Waste management is a burning issue that is best addressed through effective policy, strong implementation and a partnership approach for the long-term good of all. The government recently revamped the Waste Management Rules and introduced the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). We are extremely happy to see the formation of AARC – a collaboration between industry, the waste trade, NGOs and civic society – and their commitment to fulfil their mandate as responsible producers.’