Developing a measurable and verifiable recycling chain ensuring proper recollection and recycling of the various types of plastic waste across the untapped areas of the nation along with the social inclusion of waste workers.
Nepal has held a global reputation throughout its history for its unparalleled natural beauty, and diverse culture. However, due to rapid unplanned urbanization and the increasing consumption of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and plastics over the last three decades, cities in Nepal are struggling to manage the plastic waste properly. A study conducted by the World Bank in 2020 stated that 600 Metric Tons per Day (MTD) of plastic waste is dumped in the landfills across Nepal. Additionally, due to a limited number of recovery and recycling plants in Nepal, a majority of plastic waste recovered by informal channels. The waste is collected by privately owned waste collection centers where the majority of the waste workers work directly and indirectly. The informal sector plays a huge role in recovering recyclables from the dumped mixed waste, with 15,000 Waste Workers (WWs) active in just the Kathmandu Valley. However, they are also one of the most marginalized communities in Nepal, often the victims of discrimination and social exclusion. Despite the significant role of WWs in recovery and recycling, they haven’t been integrated into the system and lack recognition for their work. They are exploited in terms of working hours, wages, working conditions, and poor social support, hence affecting their livelihoods.
Project Prayaash with the main objective of fulfilling the gap in the current market, aims to develop a measurable and verifiable recycling chain ensuring proper recollection and recycling of the various types of plastic waste across the untapped areas of the nation along with the social inclusion of waste workers.
Nepal is home to a huge lump of plastic waste, further categorized as unmanaged plastic waste. Until the present time, plastic waste is stranded on the streets of urbans, with no one to collect and restore. Nepal lacks segregation process at source, constant recycling practices and most importantly, cognizance with the people. Despite 600 tons of plastic being disposed on a daily basis, millions would be lying on the streets, rivers and grounds.
Nepal incorporates one of the most uneven terrains that demands an equally laborious waste collection force to reach each part of the country. There is also a huge gap in the total plastic waste produced and the total plastic waste recollected for recycling purpose in the market. Hence, Project Prayaash is a Prayaash (a Nepali Term for effort) to tap into the current gap and develop a measurable and verifiable recycling chain ensuring proper recollection and recycling of the various types of plastic waste across the untapped areas of the nation ensuring the strengthening of waste workers for a zero-waste Nepal. By capacitating the local partners and informal waste workers, the project’s significant aim is to create a sustainable recollection and recycling model with long term viability, potential to grow and scalability for impact whilst empowering the communities along the way.
Plastic waste accounts for 15% of the total waste created in Nepal. The unfortunate aspect of plastic waste disposal is that it is frequently thrown into landfills with other waste, incinerated, or dumped in the open. Considering that plastics can generate a far greater value when they are recycled, incineration or landfilling plastic is a waste of resources. Nepal lacks a robust recollection and recycling system to tap into these waste resources. The gap in the current market and rising amount of plastics waste induced the start of the project.
The intervention of Project Prayaash has helped collect and recycle more than 650+ tons of waste plastics from the various untapped regions of Nepal till date. More than 450 waste workers have been included in the robust network in a formalized partnership to collect the waste plastics and ensure the circular economy of the waste plastics. To ensure the Health and Safety (HSE), Project Prayaash has worked significantly for the social inclusion part of the waste workers. For the same, Project Prayaash team conducted a month-long baseline survey in 25 waste collection centers in seven districts of Nepal. The baseline survey highlighted the business profile, environmental compliance, social compliance, and health and safety conditions of the waste workers working on the waste collection centers and will be a significant tool in developing a tailor-made approach to addressing the waste workers concerns. Alongside, Project Prayaash has put forward several capacity building trainings, Occupational Health and Safety Training, Health Camp and Accidental Insurance Handover Program for waste workers.
The major beneficiaries of the project Prayaash are waste workers and their families. Waste workers are invaluable forte to us and the society but their social prestige has always been in danger, resulting in naught dignity of work individually. Presently, that regality is still an alien to them, hence we are trying our best to provide them with the approbation and appreciation they have always deserved.
The main working areas of Project Prayaash are: