Waste collection on Indian river supported by Finnish companies / EUR 600,000 funding from Huhtamaki
The waste collection unit installed in Mumbai / India (Photo: Huhtamaki)
Finnish packaging behemoth Huhtamaki (Espoo; and two local groups, cleantech start-up RiverRecycle (Helsinki; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Espoo;, have developed a machine to collect debris and plastic waste on the Mithi River in Mumbai / India as a way to stop rubbish from reaching the Indian Ocean.

The Mithi River Project – initiated in October 2020 by the start-up – received EUR 600,000 in funding from Huhtamaki, an investment also being used to organise workshops on effective waste management and recycling in Mumbai. The project also aims to provide inputs to VTT on the floating waste and its seasonal variations, which can be used to optimise clean-up operations and recycling processes for the future.

The unit, which includes a sorting station, has the capacity to collect 50 t of waste per day. It was built and tested in Finland, then transported to and assembled in Mumbai, where it is now operational and will be collecting waste from the river for the next 12 months. According to RiverRecycle, part of the revenues from the reclaimed waste will be used to sustain the process, thus enabling the start-up to provide river cleaning as a free service for the hosting community.

Besides the above-mentioned players, the project is also being run by a global partnership between UN Global Pulse ( and Earth5R (, an India-based, citizen-led environmental movement.

Earlier this year, UNEP worked with Google to develop a machine-learning based project to study plastics pollution on Asian rivers, including the Ganges in India (see of 29.04.2021). Huhtamaki has been strengthening its presence in emerging markets, particularly in India, for the past few years (see of 10.10.2019 and 06.04.2018).
13.09.2021 [248461-0]
Published on 13.09.2021

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