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Waste plastic: the other option

March 26, 2009

Plastic waste is an enormous problem in India, ruining beautiful views, clogging drains and waterways and providing receptacles for pools of water that breed disease and pestilence. It’s unsightly and unhealthy, but with clean drinking water unavailable and plastic water containers everywhere, the rubbish just piles up in mounds that will never degrade.

I was delighted, therefore, to come across a small factory in Mysore where women are recycling plastic to produce usable items. Across the street, another set-up was cleaning and recycling glass bottles for reuse.

These are tiny operations in the face of an overwhelming problem, but they are a start. Little initiatives like this that give waste a value take on extra significance in countries where municipal waste collection is inadequate and where the only other recourse is to litter or burn the waste in pyres of acrid fumes.

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