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‘Negative solid waste’ tag for ITC due to paperboard recycling biz
The Hindu Business Line - 21 Apr 2009

Co plans to increase production of recycled paper.

With a production capacity of over 160,000 tonnes of recycled paperboards a year, the mills of ITC Ltd at Kovai and Bhadrachalam have helped the company attain the distinction of being negative solid waste, said Mr R. Srinivasan, Member-Corporate Management Committee.

“While recycled paperboards may account for less than 5 per cent of ITC’s turnover across 13 businesses, it has helped the company achieve the mark of being negative solid waste,” Mr Srinivasan told Business Line.

The company not only recycles its own wastes but also that of other companies, he said.

With the demand for paperboards set to rise, ITC is hopeful of taking the production of recycled paper to 170,000 tonnes a year.

“We are an under-packaged country at present but the revolution is slowly taking place and we are moving from commodities to brand. This will boost the need for packaging and recycled board,” Mr Srinivasan pointed out.


The recovery rate of paper in India is less than 20 per cent compared to Europe and USA who are above 60 per cent. “There is a need to create awareness among people in order to procure more raw materials for recycled paper and paperboards from within the country,” he said.

ITC imports 20,000 tonnes of waste paper.

People should be made aware of source segregation. “Source segregation into paper-glass-metal-plastics will help greatly and will reduce the pressure on municipal landfills,” he observed.

Boons of Recycling

A waste paper can be ideally recycled 7-8 times by mixing a bit of fibre each time, Mr Srinivasan said. “Recycling not only saves energy, water and money for the country but also saves the municipal landfills from paper burial that occupies space and increases carbon footprint by emitting methane,” he said.

ITC is actively promoting the WOW (Wealth out of Waste) initiative in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore to help increase the recovery of waste paper. The company provides special bags to accumulate dry wastes such as paper, plastic and metals and arranges periodic collection through outsourced agencies. The segregated dry waste can save almost 40 per cent of municipal garbage handling costs, he pointed out.

ITC has taken a number of initiatives to reduce energy and water consumption at its mill in Kovai. “We have undertaken many initiatives after taking over the Kovai mill in 2004 (from BILT) such as co-generation power, revamped electrical drives and ultra-filtration of water and better productivity besides recycling of wastes for tertiary uses,” he said.

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