Alpla supports recycling infrastructure development in Nepal through German NGO
26 Apr 2022 --- Alpla is supporting NIDSI, a German NGO, as it sets up recycling centers in Nepal under the project name ReValue to improve waste management in the country. The global packaging solutions and recycling specialist has been supporting NIDISI since the end of 2021.
The company supports technologically innovative organizations that support countries lacking necessary infrastructure for waste collection systems. NIDISI, which is based in Berlin, initiates social development projects that focus on education, menstruation health and hygiene, water and recycling in Nepal.
The NGO’s ReValue project is of particular interest to Alpla as it seeks to establish a local recycling infrastructure in Nepal where, in the absence of alternatives, plastic is frequently disposed of in nature or burned unchecked.
Alpla says this is where NIDISI comes in, giving value to what people throw away under the motto of “Don’t waste the waste.” In collaboration with the Nepali partner Avni, local recycling capacities are gradually being built up to reintroduce the masses of plastic waste there into the materials cycle.
This process starts with the construction of two recycling centers with financing provided by Alpla, where plastics are compressed in a bale press. The recyclable plastics from regions without a waste management system can then be shipped and sold to recycling companies in Nepal.
First center up and running
The first recycling center was put into operation at the beginning of February and the second is scheduled to follow in May.
In the first week, 800 kg of plastic was compressed and, when running at full capacity, it will be possible for 20,000 kg of plastic to be collected, compressed and subsequently recycled each month.
This volume equates to the average monthly plastic consumption of around 32,000 Nepalis. At the same time, the local economy will be stimulated as approximately 13 new jobs will be created per recycling center. These jobs will be financed by the reselling of the plastic.
Economically viable recycling
Recycling is to be made economically viable in Nepal and the administrative costs are to be covered with the help of plastic credits, which serve as a kind of currency. NIDISI generates one credit for every ton of plastic recycled in Nepal.
These credits are sold to companies in the Global North, which can demonstrate that they have reduced their plastic consumption and wish to offset their remaining plastic consumption.
These companies can then offset their plastic consumption while NIDISI invests the money raised in the development of more recycling infrastructure. The idea is for a self-perpetuating upward spiral to come about in the Nepali waste sector that will bring littering to an end in the long term.
Global South littering
Littering is a major challenge for today’s societies. According to recent studies, more than eight million metric tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans each year.
A large proportion of this comes from countries that do not have functioning waste collection systems. As well as jeopardizing ecosystems, this results in the industry losing important recyclable materials. Alpla has therefore been championing closed loops and the expansion of recycling infrastructures around the world for many years.
The company supports organizations that have the potential to play a part in curbing environmental pollution. The aim is to build up partnerships that enable mutual learning and lead to positive developments in the area of environmental sustainability.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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