An Indian plastics environmental group and the country's largest brand for packaged water, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., have launched a trial program in schools to promote plastics bottle recycling, and the plastics group hopes to take it nationwide.
Taking place over two weeks in the first half of October, the program saw students at 100 Mumbai schools fan out in their communities to collect PET and other plastics bottles.
Officials with the Indian Centre for Plastics and the Environment said the effort was also aimed at teaching children about the importance of garbage segregation, and came in response to a high-profile call from India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, for a “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” or Clean India Campaign.
“The idea is now to roll over such projects in other cities of India and create more awareness for plastic waste collection and recycling,” said Vijay Merchant, a member of the governing council of the Mumbai-based ICPE.
Mumbai-based Bisleri said it's the largest maker of bottled mineral water in India, and has helped to fund PET recycling facilities and collection centers in office parks, schools, tourist spots and shopping malls around the country.
“We endeavor to open more such centers every year, so that all Indians have access to recycling their plastic bottles and cleaning up after themselves,” the company said on its website. “Being the largest brand of mineral water in the country, we've always been extremely conscious of the nuisance PET bottles create, when not disposed properly.”
ICPE and Bisleri held a ceremony to recognize the top performing schools in the program, Nov. 14 at the Bisleri offices in Mumbai.