Twenty-two of the top food companies including multinational companies committed themselves to effectively manage plastic waste in their operations and reduce their plastic footprint in the coming years. They signed a voluntary pledge at an event organized by FSSAI in New Delhi. The event as a part of ‘Swachhata Hi Seva 2019’ was organized at Prayas Children’s Home in Jahangirpuri, New Delhi and was graced by union minister for Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan.
The event aims to give a big push to the move on plastic waste-free India with support of various stakeholders including policymakers, food and beverage sector, industry associations, celebrities and consumer organizations. The Prayas center houses some of the most deprived children, women and youth including a large number of rag pickers from all parts of Jahangirpuri, which is one of the largest resettlement colonies. It is also one of the largest collection, sorting and distribution centers of rag-pickers in Delhi. The venue was chosen to sensitize the key partners about the challenges of plastic waste collection and segregation.
Before taking up a broad-based agenda, FSSAI has itself taken up a drive for reduction and where possible elimination of plastics in its head office and offices across the country. It has initiated a collection and segregation drive at its own head office in New Delhi.
Appreciating this initiative of the FSSAI, Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated all the stakeholders for organizing an engagement activity to motivate and mobilize masses towards the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for a plastic waste-free India. He mentioned, “The work being carried out in this cause has the potential to go down in the history of India and become successful only if all stakeholders join hands and truly make it a Jan Andolan.” He further said that he has personally pledged to eliminate all single-use plastics from his life and urged everyone, the industry, children and citizens to do the same and adopt Green Good Deeds as a lifestyle practice.
Adding to it, Pawan Agarwal, chief executive officer at FSSAI reminded everyone that plastics are most widely used in the food and beverages sector and therefore food businesses have a greater responsibility in managing plastic waste. He said, “FSSAI was thus far concerned only about the safety of packaging material, now FSSAI would also focus on the sustainability of food packaging. It would review all its regulations, particularly packaging regulations and view them with a sustainability lens. In addition to that it would also promote a reduction in the use of plastics in food packaging, find suitable alternatives and ensure that plastic used is recycled and businesses participate in collection and recycling of plastics.”
The event was supported in public interest by Dabur as part of their mission towards spreading community awareness and a strong sense of commitment for environmental sustainability and was joined by senior officials and thought leaders of several other food businesses and industry associations including CII and FICCI.