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ITC: Enduring Value

Sab Saath Baadhein

Media Centre


WOW, saying it the ITC way 02 Apr 2010

Hindu Business Line

Company to increase waste paper collection for paper board mills.

  • Wealth from waste

  • To focus on spreading awareness in schools

  • Has tied up with 100 cos to procure waste paper

ITC has decided to step up its waste paper collection business under its WOW (Wealth out of Waste) programme, to augment raw material supply for its paper board mills.
ITC uses about 1.8 lakh tonnes of imported waste paper annually at its mills in Coimbatore and Bhadrachalam.

According to company officials, it needs about 3 lakh tonnes of waste paper annually. The balance is sourced domestically.

Raw Material
The company views the WOW programme as an opportunity to step up domestic raw material availability.

As part of the programme, now on in the four southern States, it has tied up with Ramky Infrastructure to launch door-to-door domestic waste collection.

The company takes the paper-based materials for its own use and the other waste is recycled through tie-ups with other recyclers.

According to Mr B. Joga Rao, Vice-President (Commercial), ITC (Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division), the company now collects about 3,000 tonnes of waste paper a month, through the WOW programme.

It plans to increase collection to about 5,000 tonnes a month in April, and by the year end, to about 10,000 tonnes.

WOW is now on in five cities including Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh; Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai in Tamil Nadu; Bangalore and Kochi.

Focus on schools
The company plans to extend the programme to other cities and is targeting educational institutions as well, he said.

In Hyderabad, it has implemented the programme in seven schools and plans to launch it in 25 more. Children will be taught the value of recycling – one tonne of paper produced from recycled material saves 22 trees, he said.

Feeling the pinch
As countries across the globe increase recycling of waste paper for conservation needs and cost benefits, Indian paper manufacturers, who depend on imported waste paper, are increasingly feeling the pinch of waste paper shortage and increasing costs.

According to ITC officials, the price of waste paper had increased by 30-40 per cent in the last three months to around Rs 9,000-9,500 a tonne.

ITC has also tied up with around 100 companies to procure their waste paper.

Imported waste paper prices have been spiralling, as developed countries and major producers such as China are cutting back on virgin wood for paper production and increasing the use of waste paper as a raw material.

China, which imports around 26 million tonnes of waste paper annually, is expected to use 6 million tonnes more as it steps up recycling.

The US and Europe are also encouraging paper manufacturers to increase recycled content in paper.

Low awareness
India uses about 9 million tonnes of paper annually but only about 10 per cent of that is recycled, because of the absence of organised collection systems and low awareness of segregating waste at source.

When paper waste mixes with other organic waste it cannot be used for recycling and is truly “wasted,” industry experts said.

India now imports close to 5 million tonnes of waste paper to produce a range of products, including kraft paper for packaging materials and boards.

© ITC Limited