Ragpickers' contribution 'Salam Hai' picks up PACE

MUMBAI: This Gandhi Jayanti, PACE (PET Packaging Association for Clean Environment) has launched a special initiative to recognise the contribution of grassroots recyclers – the ragpickers – who make the first and biggest contribution to the recycling of PET bottles.

Kicking off a communication campaign ‘Salam Hai’ (‘Salute’) to highlight the contribution of ragpickers in the recycling process of PET bottles, a special video campaign has been released on social media.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is one of the most widely used plastics for packaging applications and is 100 per cent recyclable. Discarded PET bottles are collected, sorted, cleaned, shredded, and made into washed flakes, which are then used to produce products like polyester fibre.

In India, over 70 per cent of PET waste is recycled and aids livelihoods to millions employed in the entire value chain of recycling process.

‘Salam Hai’ is themed on the life of ragpickers and their contribution to the recycling industry. The video features the ‘silent heroes’ of India who are doing their part. Today, ragpickers collect around 500,000 tons per year of post-consumer PET bottles for producing polyester fibre alone, earning around Rs 10 billion per year.

PACE secretary-general P C Joshi says: “Ragpickers are the silent heroes who stand at the beginning of the recycling value chain."

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