Bengaluru’s waste and brand audit exposes top polluters

Multi-layer nonrecyclable plastic continues to dominate waste streams. A brand audit shows the different brands that pollute, and seeks answers to the questions on producer's responsibility.

On the occasion of World Environment Day 2018 that had the theme Beat Plastic Pollution, environmental groups led by the Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT), Bengaluru, got together to conduct Waste and Brand Audit in eight locations in Bengaluru. The audit was part of a pan-India activity coordinated by GAIA India, where ten member organisations and partners conducted clean up and waste and brand audits in 18 states of India.

In Bengaluru, the Waste and Brand Audit took place on 20th to 22nd May 2018, with over 120 volunteers worked in partnership with groups like HasiruDala, Bangalore Eco Team, HSR Citizens Forum, Beautiful Bengaluru, Lets Clean Bengaluru, Kasa Muktha Bellandur, Yelahanka Eco Group, Lal Bagh West Group and Swachha.

The Waste and Brand Audit findings reveal that of the 12,000 pieces audited upto 61% was found to be to multi-layered laminate packaging which is non-recyclable. The results reveal that both local and international brands are responsible to the growing stream of plastic packaging branded litter.

Waste and Brand Audit

“The FMCG companies spend millions of rupees in creating deep penetration of their marketing networks and increasing their product sales. This has ended up releasing millions of packaging units into the environment, for someone else to clean up. What is needed is an equally comprehensive network which will retrieve the packaging waste from every household or point where it is generated. The efforts of retrieval thus far, have been a drop in the ocean,” says Sandya Narayanan, from SWMRT.

Coca Cola topped the list of multinational food packaging; Hindustan UniLever topped the list in personal care and household product packaging. In the local brands Nandini tops the list in food packaging, while ITC tops the list in the personal care product packaging.

“Plastic pollution has reached alarming propositions, however, in India, we haven’t taken a stand on Branded Litter. The concept of Extended Producers Responsibility exists in paper and the recently modified Plastic Waste Management Rules 2018, is a case in point that offers immunity to the producers of multi-layered packaging. We need design change and life-cycle analysis of packaging, the integration of the informal recycling value chain in collection and retrieval of all packaging material and set recycling targets,” says Pinky Chandran, from SWMRT.

The report recommends implementation of following rules and resolutions:

  • Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 – 2018
  • Solid Waste Management Rules 2016
  • The Petrochemical Policy Resolutions of 2007

The formal report release of the Waste and Brand Audit took place on the 30th June 2018 at the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Church Street, Bengaluru, followed by the launch of “Unfinished Business: Campaign Against Branded Litter”.


  1. Vikram R says:

    What about Frito Lay ! Obviously the findings will be a reflection of market share. It’s about time the Government forced the major pollutors to reflect on the mess they are creating by levying stringent pollutors taxes and penalties for not improving packaging towards eco friendly options.

  2. Varsha T says:

    There is so much plastic being generated from e-commerce websites like Myntra, amazon etc.. Most of the packaging is plastic and there is lots of unnecessary plastic.
    There really should be some control on plastics used in packaging and delivery of goods.
    If i buy a t-shirt on myntra then it comes with a plastic wrap, packaged again in another plastic wrap which feel is very un-necessary.

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