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Waste management is an increasing problem in India. Pixabay

As environmental concerns gain prominence amid the pandemic, Abhay Deshpande, founder of Recykal, has said that the country requires an effective and automated waste management model.

He has also recommended the implementation of a ‘deposit return system’ to boost waste recycling in the country.

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Deposit Return System or DRS, a system that enables users to return their packaging waste, in exchange for a refund on the deposit.

“We have been pitching this concept to different state governments since DRS has a proven record of over 90 percent reverse collection rates wherever it has been implemented so far. Ocean plastics is another aspect where we feel a lot of work is needed,” Deshpande said.

Noting that landfills are growing at a rapid rate across the country and a large chunk of valuable e-waste and plastic waste is being incinerated in them, leading to economic, climatic, and environmental downfall, he said: “What India needs desperately is an effective and automated waste management model.”

Landfills are an increasing environmental problem across India. Pixabay

Three major stakeholders are involved in the e-waste and plastic management value chain — waste generators, waste collectors or aggregators, and recyclers, he said.

He is of the view that each of these stakeholders needs to be incentivized in the right way to maximize collection, minimize dumping and maximize recycling operations.

He said that the waste management and recycling industry has been especially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deshpande observed that during lockdowns, fewer than 10 percent of recyclers were operating and many are still not able to return to full capacity.

Coupled with the increased use of single-use plastic, there is a heightened urgency for action to build back better.

Recykal is an end-to-end digital solutions provider, facilitating transactions for all stakeholders across India’s waste management and recycling value chain.

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“We are helping FMCG and electronic brands run their consumer awareness and takeback programs and comply with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) rules. Our technology, data, and reporting solutions help governments, policymakers, organizations, and communities adopt sustainable practices while creating a positive social, economic and environmental impact at scale,” he said.

The company also powers a digital marketplace and provides smart center solutions for dry waste collection centers to ensure plastic is recycled properly and efficiently. (IANS)



When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.

The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.

Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.

"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.

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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.

"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.

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Jeff Bezos at the ENCORE awards.

Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.

Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.

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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin

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