THE PLIGHT OF POWAI LAKE
On Saturday 7th July, Earth5R conducted the 11th Powai Lake cleanup under ACT Powai. Along with the team, 10 students from the Rotary Club joined in for the cleanup as well as a training session. Founder of Earth5R, Saurabh Gupta educated the students about the different types of plastic and which ones are biodegradable and not. The students were intrigued when they learned about the dangers of plastic entering the lake. As the plastic breaks down, it never completely degrades. Instead, it forms microplastics which cannot be extracted from the water and more grave environmental effects will occur, such as microplastics entering the food chain. Each week, the focus is on collecting all the plastic waste and have it recycled. However, this week the team came across a new category of waste that we never expected to find at the lake: E-waste.
THE WAR AGAINST E-WASTE
E-waste, formally termed as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), is a broad category of waste that refers to all electronic products nearing the end of their “useful” life. This includes all electronic gadgets, mobile phones, circuit boards, DVDs, and CDs. With the fairly recent smartphone explosion, India has grown to be one of the largest markets for smartphones in the world. The hidden aspect of this is that it is now also one of the largest sinks for E-waste.
EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY
As a way to prevent these items from being dumped in our lakes and releasing harsh chemicals, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a strategy designed to promote the integration of environmental costs associated with goods throughout their life cycles into the market price of the products. EPR legislation is a driving force behind the adoption of remanufacturing initiatives as it “focuses on the end-of-use treatment of consumer products and has the primary aim to increase the amount and degree of product recovery and to minimize the environmental impact of waste materials.”
Earth5R uses an army of waste pickers working at the grassroots level to leverage the EPR program.Thus, Earth5R’s solid waste management value chain is utilised to make a positive social and environmental impact. We have several innovative waste recovery and recycling schemes for companies looking for an EPR program.