Waste management solutions must include people and technology, say experts
An interactive session titled ‘#InclusiveCircularity: How philanthropic and commercial capital can work together in waste management for the planet, people and profitability’, discussed how innovation in waste management is efficiently handling burgeoning plastic and textile wastes.
The event, organised by Saamuhika Shakti, a collective impact initiative at TERI, also discussed how waste pickers are left out of the value chain.
Speaking at the event, Bystedt, the Strategy Lead for Inclusive Societies, Inclusive Societies at H&M Foundation, discussed the need to bridge the gap between initiatives for both the planet and the people.
“We have to consider both the social and planetary perspectives when talking of emerging circular economies,” Bysted said.
“If we don’t, then we risk creating solutions that are new monsters, having negative effects on people in the margins by not taking into account their needs and requirements.”
Shekar Prabhakar, co-founder & CEO of the social enterprise Hasiru Dala Innovations, said inclusive circularity is the “deliberate and planned inclusion of waste pickers in the circular waste economic value chain”.
“The shift is from informal to professional and then to formal. But for this to happen, we have to build capacity for the waste picker to understand compliance and service expectations.
“The economic value chain has to be a little patient and make some space to absorb the cost of this compliance,” he added.
Smita Rakesh, vice-president of Social Alpha, a venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic and environmental challenges, weighed in on fair wages and bringing commercial capital into waste management in an inclusive manner.
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