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Plastic Free Vijayawada

Improving livelihoods and avoiding plastic pollution through collecting 500 tonnes of plastic waste per year in India


Renowned for its elaborate temples, sandstone caves and Prakasam bridge stretching 1,200 metres across the Krishna River, Vijayawada city, in India, is a prominent destination for travellers. Despite the popularity of this destination for its beauty, the city now deals with a very ugly problem: plastic pollution. Generating 150 tonnes of waste a day, single-use plastic makes up 90% of the city's waste, with plastic litter severely impacting residents' quality of life and the natural environment.

Plastic Collection

Sustainable Development Goals

1. No Poverty

No Poverty


8. Decent work and economic growth

Decent Work and Economic Growth


14. Life below water

Life Below Water


15. Life on land

Life on Land


17. Partnerships for the goals

Partnerships for the Goals


The Solution

The Plastic Free Vijayawada project employs previously informal waste-collectors to retrieve single-use or lesser quality ‘multi-layer’ plastic waste, such as food packaging, directly from households. Without the project, multi-layer plastics are otherwise left discarded as there is little economic incentive for collection and limited options for recycling. Instead, the collected material is consequently sorted at the project facility and transported for recycling. Through the use of a digital monitoring system the project provides greater transparency and confidence in the collection of plastic waste.


The Impact

This project both mitigates plastic from entering the environment and improves the livelihoods of previously informal waste-collectors. Employees receive health insurance, training on the dangers of the work and protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and safety shoes. By improving the working conditions of waste-collectors, the project incentivises action to expand plastic waste collection, which  contributes to building a circular plastic economy.

Project ID: 303437
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