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Goa Dairy buying back plastic packets

Nirgosh Gaude | NT

Ponda: Though most milk dairies in the country are gearing up to recycle used plastic packets of milk, Goa Dairy has been successfully running a buy-back scheme since last over 15 years wherein customers are given 1 standard milk packet on returning back 100 empty milk packets.

Interestingly, many educational institutes across the state are part of the scheme and have been major contributors of used milk pouches to the Goa Dairy.

As per information, on an average, the dairy receives around 34.08 lakh used milk pouches per year from its customers which includes educational institutes and in return the dairy has been providing milk worth Rs 8 lakh (around 17,000 litres) per year under the Waste Management Scheme.

After collecting the milk pouches, every year plastic waste is auctioned and sold to plastic granule manufacturers who recycle them through which Goa Dairy fetches around Rs 3-4 lakh per year, informed its officials.

Compared to the milk packets sale of the Goa Dairy per year, recovery rate of the used milk pouches is around 8 to 10 per cent. But Goa Dairy is the only milk brand in the state offering such buy-back scheme for recycling used milk pouches. The dairy sells around 3.60 crore milk packets per year of which around 34.08 lakh per year are collected back under the scheme.

When asked about the low recovery rate, marketing in-charge of Goa Dairy Sushant Goankar said that there are very few people who are environment-friendly, as getting 500 ml milk packet against 100 empty milk packets is not a big deal for many in the present scenario. Secondly, promotion of the schemes at educational level and their involvement too has helped the dairy to recycle the used milk pouches, he said.

“If the state government provides some support to the Goa Dairy under waste management scheme, it can refurbish entire scheme and make it more lucrative for customers so that more people will return back empty milk packets to the dairy,” said Sushant Gaonkar.

According to managing director Radhika Kale, the waste management scheme of Goa Dairy was launched some 15 to 16 years back as a social responsibility of the dairy. Considering the plastic menace, recycling plastic at home was the main motive of the scheme, she said.

Goa Dairy must be the first dairy in the country to launch such scheme for customers and which was also sent to National Dairy Development Board to implement it in other dairies across the country, MD Kale said while speaking to this daily.

Under the scheme, empty milk pouches/ packets of the various milk brands of Goa Dairy are accepted at various milk booths and parlours of Goa Dairy across the state on 15th and 30th of every month. Goa Dairy customer can get 1 standard milk packet (500 ml) against 100 empty milk packets. The dairy has around 180 milk booths across the state and few milk parlours.

Under the scheme, around 200 educational institutes across the state have registered with the dairy and they have been major contributors. Some schools have made special assignment for their NSS student wherein each student is asked to collect 365 empty milk packets and submit it to school for which the students get marks. Then the milk packets are collected by the Goa Dairy and in return flavored milk or other items are sponsored to the education institute during their annual function or other programmes.

Government College at Khandola; Ameya Higher Secondary School-Curti; Rosary College– Navelim, and Carmel College–Nuvem are the top-most contributor to the waste management of dairy, in educational institute category, informed the dairy officials.

Speaking further, MD Radhika Kale stated that the dairy has been conducting awareness programmes in various schools and colleges regarding the waste management scheme every year and has been urging the student community to contribute their bit in serving the environment by recycling plastic.

“At the time when the entire country is gearing up towards having a plastic-free nation, I urge people of the state to take part in the Goa Dairy’s waste management scheme and contribute their bit by returning their used milk packets for recycling to the Goa Dairy for environmental cause,” Kale said.

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