Recycling has practically become a household term with school children across the country being educated about the need to recycle, conserve and preserve. The same can be said for Sagolband Sadokpam Leikai in Manipur's Imphal district, where an effective recycling programme is being spearheaded by Sadokpam Itombi Singh and his father Sadokpam Gunakanta.
Knowing that plastics are a threat to the eco-system as they negatively impact the natural environment and create problems for plants, wildlife and even human population, Itombi who is an graduate of Computer Application along his father, an engineer from the Government Polytechnic, Manipur has been determined to make their district a better place to live.
Itomba founded the S. J. Plastic Industries in early 2007, and since then the father-son duo have been the driving force behind the effective recycling process of plastic waste in his area.
Earlier in 1990s, the 65-year-old, Gunakanta used to run the small enterprise with the help of his son who helped him in the daily operations at the recycling plant. They used to collect bottles and sent it to the neighbouring states-Delhi and Guwahati that had plastic recycling plant.
However, in 2010, new machines were procured at the enterprise that could build pipes, other household items, tubs, flower pots from plastic waste.
Currently, as many as 120 types of plastics have been identified in Manipur alone. Out of 120, almost 30 are recycled in Manipur while the remaining ones are sent to Delhi and Guwahati after a compression process.
"Plastics are recyclable. We need to make conscious efforts to recycle such waste so they can be used for other purposes, instead of allowing them to pollute our water bodies," Gunakanta said.
At present, the company has 35 regular staffs and six work on daily wages. The company, which started with an investment of Rs. 1.5 lakhs, currently has a turnover of 1.2 crores per annum.