How India is trying to solve its plastic waste problem?

The number of plastic used has been drastically increasing over the decade. Environmentalists, engineers and scientists around the world are constantly working to find a solution for this global menace. According to Mani Vajipey who quit his job in the US to work towards encouraging the recycling of plastics and started the Banyan Nation in Hyderabad said, “If there is an Olympics for recycling, India will continue winning for a long time.”

Envirotask has tried to reach the core of the issue and find solutions. Knowing the solution alone won’t help until it is put into practice. Some of the practical answers that India is working towards have been listed below.

  • Banyan Tree thought out of the way and also decided to recycle car bumpers and shampoo bottles. It initially had a 12,000-tonne capacity plant for plastic recycling. Later on, with the fund, he had raised Mr. Vajipey sketched out a model for plastic recycling. Two main reasons for running this model successfully is that it depends on Data Intelligence and technology to ensure quality recycling.
  • Reducing plastic after it is generated is one way. While the other easy way out can be to produce products that are safe and can be recycled easily. One such product is the replacement of plastic bottles with PET bottles. As part of the Extended Producer Responsibility companies in India are into the production of PET bottles because of the capacity to recycle them at ease. According to Magesh Nandagopal, a scientist at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune, “60-70% of PET bottles are recycled in India into polyester fibers that can be used in textiles.”
  • Unilever’s Extended Producer Responsibility has promised to keep their packing 100% recyclable by 2025. PET bottle recycling poses a threat when compared to plastic recycling that is the government is not confident that food and drinks can be stored in recycled PET. A process has been developed to sort this out. Unilever has joined hands with Indorama Ventures and a startup named Ioniqa in the Netherlands. By this process PET bottles are broken down into their molecular constituents thus they will have the properties of their mother product and ensuring safety.
  • In Pune, Social Seva Initiatives is a technology-driven organization that  is working towards a process that can covert high-density polyethylene waste into filaments for 3D printing. This can be considered as an initiative under the Producer Responsibility Organisation.
  • Microbeads in detergents and cosmetics are another concern. Due to water pollution, aquatic life is at risk where the fishes and other organisms consume these microbeads. Scientists at NCL experimenting to make microbeads using natural polymers.

According to a study, only 0 .6 million tons of plastic is meeting EPR obligations.

  • Plastic credits certificates is the latest solution. EcoEx is a one-of-a-kind digital trading marketplace. Extended Producer Responsibility has made the manufacturers bear on their shoulders the plastic recycling process. This EcoEx brings together recyclers, collectors, and brands so that they fulfill their obligation towards Extended Producer Responsibility. This exchange of plastic credit certificates is endorsed by NCDEX (National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited)

With every new development comes the risks too. Producer Responsibility Organisations are not that popular among the general public and thus awareness is the foundation on which plastic recycling measures rest.

Envirotask has studied the solutions that India is currently following and is striving to implement them in the mainstream market. By doing so a sense of responsibility is also kindled in both the producers and consumers to follow plastic recycling. Think responsible with Envirotask for a better tomorrow.


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