Dow India launches digital waste management programme, Rethink+

Dow Chemical International (Dow India) has announced the launch of its first digital waste management platform, Rethink+. This is a unique plastics take-back programme that aims to prevent post-consumer plastic waste from going to landfills by digitally connecting waste generators, waste aggregators, waste processors and recyclers.

10 Oct 2020 | By Abhishek Muralidharan

This new initiative is in collaboration with Recykal, a technology company providing cloud-based solutions for the waste management and recycling industry, and a waste management NGO partner Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust.

Through a mobile app, participants in the Rethink+ programme list their recyclables and either schedule a collection or drop off their items at designated collection centres, earning reward points for online vouchers for each completed transaction. The plastic waste collected through the take-back programme is streamlined to different recycling processes such as upcycling and pyrolysis.

Rethink+ was piloted in Pune earlier this year, where 810 metric tonnes of plastic waste was collected in five months.

“The results of the pilot program have been outstanding, but we are just getting started. We are thrilled to be able to extend Rethink+ to more cities in India and encourage the public to recycle more through increased awareness, education and dedicated infrastructure," said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific commercial vice-president of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

Circular recycling
Infrastructure for the collection, segregation and recycling of post-consumer plastic waste received through this programme was built to ensure that the collected materials are channelled to authorised recyclers, road contractors and waste-to-fuel (pyrolysis) facilities. The waste will then be used as a resource; for example, to implement plastics inroads.

Together with partners in the ecosystem such as recyclers, pyrolysis operators and road contractors, Rethink+ demonstrates how brand owners can meet the government’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirement transparently by providing complete traceability of plastic waste.

Keshav Sita Memorial Foundation Trust (Keshav Sita Foundation), an NGO based in Pune, has been dedicated to creating awareness about the harmful effects of plastic waste. Highlighting the importance of waste segregation, the foundation educates individuals by setting up collection points at residences, schools and retailers as part of the Rethink+ programme. Waste collection has continued during the Covid-19, with strict hygiene practices and precaution.

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