A message from one of the organizers
Why This Competition Matters
November 1, 2020
Frequently cited, India collects 60% of its recyclable plastic waste, whereas, on average, the world, including the United States, hovers between 10-15% of all waste generated. On a per capita basis, India consumes 1/10th the amount of plastic of the United States, yet this 11 kilogram per capita figure is expected to almost double by 2022. Almost 10,000 tons of plastic waste per day is uncollected and accumulating on land and in waterways, including an estimated 73,000 tons that winds up in the Meghna-Brahauta-Ganges river each year and then into the ocean. While these statistics are both impressive (recycling rate) and disheartening (10,000 tons/day) for a country over 1 billion people, these statistics do not matter in the day-to-day fight to reduce and prevent plastic waste throughout India’s 29 states and countless cities and rural areas. What matters are the people and organizations actively involved, often without fanfare or acknowledgement.
This competition is not to find the slickest new startup, brimming with potential, but is designed to place a large spotlight on the initiatives (projects, programs, people) at the ground level that are making the real difference.
We call upon the brightest youth in India, at the best graduate universities, to identify, and showcase these initiatives and to provide tangible evidence of their successes.
While we will select a number of winners (overall, categories) based on the quality of the case studies presented, our mission is to seek out all initiatives that are contributing to reducing plastic waste in India.
One of the 5 partners in this competition is a new non-profit, the Commitments Accelerator for Plastic Pollution (CAPP), @ CAPP.Global. CAPP invites every participant in this competition, from students to initiative stakeholders, and others in India who care about reducing plastic waste to join as a member and to participate in an India Member group, too. We will encourage members to contact initiative stakeholders to replicate them in their location, and if we have enough interest from at least 3 (up to 10) members, we would like to create a Pilot CAPP Accelerator program for one of the initiatives where we work, together as a team, over a year to replicate them locally based on where the members are located
CREATING THE PATH – REPLICATING ONE TO CREATE MANY
Ultimately for India to rapidly increase its results to reduce plastic waste, it has to move quickly and decisively –we need 100 similar initiatives to replicate and scale, not only an original one.
It is our hope that this competition can highlight many good initiatives, and, over time, CAPP can work to replicate, and then scale the very best initiatives actively making a real difference.
NOT ONLY A COMPETITION
One day, the mission and goals of this annual competition will be fulfilled when we can point to 100 similar initiatives throughout the country, all spawned from one of the participants in this competition that we spotlighted, and many more initiatives exist because of this competition and the efforts by the student teams.
Co-Founder, Commitments Accelerator for Plastic Pollution
& Partner, FrontlineWaste.com
India’s Plastic Waste Problem
10,000 TONS/DAY UNCOLLECTED
The Below Infographic: The Equivalent of 3,285,000 Elephants Per Year of Plastic Waste
The Ganges river is the 6th worst polluting rivers in the world to carry plastic waste into the ocean
The river provides water to about 40% of India’s population across 11 states, and it impacts an estimated population of 500 million people. An estimated 1.2 billion pounds of discarded soft and hard plastic each year wind up into the river
25% of the uncollected waste each day is from 10 major cities
Dehli, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Surat, Kanpur, Pune
From Indian Plastics Institute
From Ocean Recovery Alliance: