*Waste of a Nation*

The authors are Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey and the subtitle is Garbage and Growth in India, here is one excerpt from this worthy book:

In India, the tool for cleaning teeth and gums had long been a twig usually taken from a neem tree…, which can be plucked each morning, chewed into a teeth-cleaning brush, and then thrown away.  Neem also has medicinal properties.  Tooth powders gained popularity in towns and cities in preindependence times, but in smaller towns as late as the 1960s shops that sold toothpaste had to be searched for.  Consumption of toothpaste was meager.  India’s toothpaste industry in the mid-1970s was estimated to produce about 1,200 metric tons a year for a population of more than 600 million.  An Australian population of 16 million consumed 5,000 metric tons of toothpaste.  By the late 1980s, the Indian market was said to be growing rapidly, but the industry estimated that only 15 percent of the population used toothpaste and that per capita consumption was only 30 grams a year.

…By 2014, a single new factory set up in Gujarat by Colgate-Palmolive was capable of making 15,000 metric tons of toothpaste a year, more than ten times the quantity produced in all of India two generations earlier.



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