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The Maharashtra government plans to set up four circular economy parks on 2,000 acres totally with common facilities such as water effluent treatment plans to recycle scraps and waste materials, said Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) President Sanjay Mehta. Before that, the State government come out with a “Circular Economy Park policy” in the next couple of months. MRAI has been roped in as the knowledge partner to develop the policy, he said. 
First in the country
The parks will likely come up Nagpur, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri and Khopoli, which is 100 km from Mumbai. This will make Maharashtra the first State in the country to set up such parks, Mehta told businessline.Also read: Moldova enters Indian apple market, exports first consignment“These parks need to be set up at a huge investment over. Maybe, the State government will set up 30 per cent of the compulsory common facilities required for the users and they will be used by all,” said the president of MRAI, earlier known as the Metal Recycling Association of India. 
Sanjay Mehta, President, Material Recycling Association of India
MRAI has over 1,200 members who employ 25 lakh people across recyclable commodities that include ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastic, paper, e-waste, tyre, rubber, textile, glass, automobiles, construction and demolition waste and water. 
Create additional jobs
The proposed circular economy parks will support economic development and attract more investment in the State. “It will also help to enhance the rate of recycling. A study will be made to help track waste, waste collectors, and waste recyclers.  Based on the data, banks can extend loans, and the government can consider a package to develop the underdeveloped,” the MRAI president said. The association has been conducting research on setting up circular economy parks for over a decade. “This is the best opportunity and we are happy that Maharashtra will take this up,” he said.The proposed policy will aim to establish Maharashtra as the preferred investment destination for the circular economy parks to promote indigenous and modern technologies, develop world-class skilled manpower and support the micro, small and medium recycling industries. The objective is to make these industries world-class, while it will create an additional 4-5 million direct jobs, Mehta said, adding that these parks will come on the outskirts of the proposed cities.
Global recycling meet
Pointing out that 245 such parks have been set up across the world, he said China has at least 5-6 circular economy parks. One of the key aspects of recycling is that such materials derived from scrap make up a huge percentage of the production of metals such as steel, copper, aluminium, zinc and plastic.These issues will be discussed at MRAI’s three-day 10 th International Indian Material Recycling Conference scheduled to be held at Kochi in Kerala from February 2. “It will be the biggest meet of global recyclers in which 2,000 delegates, including 450 from abroad, are likely to take part.  The event will bring together Indian and international recyclers under one roof for drawing insights into technology, services, new innovations, perspectives and more,” Mehta said.  Also read: IIT Madras employs solar thermal energy to recycle waste concreteThe conclave will discuss the need for a ‘Recycling Policy’ and urge the Centre and policymakers to create a conducive ecosystem and address climate change. 
Seeks import duty cut
On MRAI expectations for the 2023-24 Budget, Mehta said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should reduce the Customs duty on the import of scrap metals. “Our neighbouring countries import duty-free. Only we have a high Customs duty for imports,” he said. Products in countries such as Thailand and Indonesia with which India has a free trade agreement are manufactured using scrap metals and materials. Finished products are then imported into India duty-free, the MRAI president said. SHARE
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