Did you see the videos of rivers in India filled with plastic rubbish on social media lately? Unfortunately, Nepal as an upstream country is a contributor to the tremendous amount of waste, which flows from the Himalaya region into the Indian Ocean. Since our projects are located in the South of Nepal, we feel that we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to reduce the volume of plastic.
In a first step, we stopped selling water in plastic bottles. The business of bottled water has grown a lot in the past years. When we started in 2013, there were only 4 other water companies. In the meantime, we count around 20 companies selling bottled water. The competition is getting stronger and margins are getting smaller. Nevertheless, having more water entrepreneurs is generally a good sign. But it also generates a lot of waste. Only a very small amount of empty water bottles is recycled. The vast majority ends up under a bridge, waiting for the monsoon flood to take the whole lot to India. Therefore, we decided that we will not sell water in plastic bottles anymore with immediate effect.
But our efforts go beyond water bottles. To deliver water to the households, we are using the common blue jars, which can be found all over Asia. Even though they can be refilled many times, they, too, eventually reach the end of their lifecycle. What to do with them afterwards? We decided to give them a second life. We are cleaning them, painting them and giving them away as dustbins or flower pods to our regular customers.
In the longrun and in order to really start tackling the waste issue in Nepal, we need a proper recycling concept. We identified first plants in Kathmandu, which are buying plastic waste and turning it into recycled raw material. We also see a lot of activities in biomass systems. They would even allow us to use the waste to generate energy for our NEXUS Centers. We are currently in discussions with various partners to either start producing our own energy from waste material or become a partner for plastic recycling.
Stay tuned to get more updates on this topic!
Source: nexus ch