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Dow India launches Rethink+, India's first digital waste management program to recycle plastic waste

MUMBAI, India, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd (Dow India) announced today the launch of its first digital waste management platform Rethink+. This is a unique plastics take-back program that aims to prevent post-consumer plastic waste from going to landfills by digitally connecting waste generators, waste aggregators, waste processors and recyclers. This new initiative is in collaboration with Recykal, a technology company providing cloud-based solutions for the waste management and recycling industry, and a waste management non-governmental organization (NGO) partner Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust.

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Through a mobile app, participants in the Rethink+ program list their recyclables and either schedule a collection or drop off their items at designated collection centers, earning reward points for online vouchers for each completed transaction. The plastic waste collected through the take-back program, Rethink+, is streamlined to different recycling processes such as upcycling and pyrolysis. This is in line with the material science company’s new sustainability targets to “Stop the Waste” by enabling one million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships.

Rethink+ was piloted in Pune, a city in the state of Maharashtra, earlier this year. The pilot program proved to be a resounding success, with 810 metric tons of plastic waste collected in five months. Rethink+ will continue to facilitate the collection of plastic waste in Pune, while expanding the program to multiple cities across India.

“The results of the pilot program have been outstanding, but we are just getting started. We are thrilled to be able to extend Rethink+ to more cities in India and encourage the public to recycle more through increased awareness, education and dedicated infrastructure,” said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific commercial vice president of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “With Recykal’s technology and expertise in local waste management, and the support of Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust, we are committed to bringing more consumers and partners onboard to advance a circular economy for plastics in India and Asia Pacific.”

A circular recycling program from collection to solution

Infrastructure for the collection, segregation and recycling of post-consumer plastic waste received through this program were built to ensure that the collected materials are channeled to authorized recyclers, road contractors and waste-to-fuel (pyrolysis) facilities. The waste will then be used as a resource; for example, to implement plastics in roads.

Together with partners in the ecosystem such as recyclers, pyrolysis operators and road contractors, Rethink+ demonstrates how brand owners can meet the Indian government’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirement transparently by providing complete traceability of plastic waste.

“We are excited to be working with Dow India, a leader in plastics technology, to provide a platform for individuals, brand owners, manufacturers, waste collectors and recyclers to collectively manage plastic waste by utilizing their strengths in the recycling journey,” said Abhay Deshpande, Founder, Recykal. “We all have the same goal, which is to save the environment. With Rethink+, we hope to connect the waste value chain through innovative technology and data solutions and change the way India recycles its plastic waste.”

Conserving the environment through awareness and education

Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust (Keshav Sita Foundation), an NGO based in Pune, has been dedicated to creating awareness about the harmful effects of plastic waste. Highlighting the importance of waste segregation, Keshav Sita Foundation educates individuals by setting up collection points at residences, schools and retailers as part of the Rethink+ program. Waste collection has continued during the COVID-19, with strict hygiene practices and precaution.

“The Keshav Sita Foundation is no stranger to plastic waste collection, having gone from door to door collecting waste as part of our efforts to educate the community about segregating their waste and explain why this method of ‘divide and conquer’ is sustainable for our environment,” said Dr. Medha Tadpatrikar, Founder Trustee, Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust. “We’re extremely delighted to be working alongside Dow India and Recykal to further demonstrate the significance of recycling by engaging with the residents of Pune from all walks of life.”

UZED[1] app: Enabling consumers to dispose of recyclable plastics waste

Through UZED – a consumer app created by Recykal – consumers can dispose of recyclable plastic waste responsibly in these simple steps:

  1. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play
  2. Register under ‘Rethink+ Plastic Takeback Program’
  3. List the recyclables on the app / Collect and segregate plastic waste at home
  4. Schedule for a doorstep pickup / Drop off materials at the nearest collection center

Thereafter, points will be credited to the user’s account and these points can be redeemed for attractive incentives such as gift cards.

About Dow India:

Dow Chemical International Private Limited (Dow India) aims to be the most innovative, sustainable, inclusive customer-centric materials science company. The company is committed to delivering the right solutions to its customers’ challenges every day.

With approximately 1000 employees, its operations are spread over 7 locations in the country, including three manufacturing plants, two established Centers of Excellence, and two commercial offices. As a responsible corporate, the company supports its Corporate Social Responsibility (program) with technology expertise and employee volunteerism. Dow India works with non-profit partners towards the empowerment of differently-abled, women, and children in communities where it operates.

About Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics

Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP), a business unit of Dow India combines core strengths of R&D, worldwide reach, broad product lines and industry expertise to deliver high performing technologies for end use markets in food packaging, personal hygiene, infrastructure, consumer goods and transportation. P&SP is one of the  largest producers of polyethylene resins, functional polymers, and adhesives, and enabled by Pack Studios, is a leading innovator and collaborator across the value chain on sustainable application development and circular economy life-cycle design for plastics. 

About Recykal

Recykal is a digital technology company providing cloud based solutions for the Waste Management and Recycling Industry. Our solutions connects Waste Generators like Businesses, Consumers, Waste Aggregators, Recyclers and enables transactions between them with transparency and traceability. They are also helping FMCG, Electronic brands run their consumer awareness, takeback programs and comply with the EPR rules.

About Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust

Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust is a non-governmental organization based in Pune, India.

Trust has been involved in creating awareness of waste plastic and segregation of waste at source for last six years. To create a habit change in waste generators the trust has started collection of waste from door step. Trust has been able to connect and collect from more than 150,000 people from various communities.

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[1]The UZED app is only available in India currently and can be downloaded via either Google Play or Apple Store for users in India. The app is not available for anyone residing outside of India.

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