Uncollected plastic waste, especially plastic packaging waste, is a ubiquitous sight on Indian roads, drains and other water bodies. There is a growing demand for a ban on the usage of plastic in a variety of industries, including some areas of packaging. However, banning plastic is not the solution but proper disposal, collection and reuse is. This is the message that Plastindia Foundation tried to convey on 5 January, when it unveiled a giant, world-record beating T-shirt of the size 97.5 x 70.08 meters made from recycled plastic at an event held at the Goregaon Sports Club in Mumbai.
The apex body of plastics industry in India, Plastindia Foundation took up this initiative to create awareness among the masses on the need to manage plastics waste so that it is recycled more efficiently. The fabric from this T-shirt will be later used to create 10,000 T-shirts and distributed free among the children from economically weaker sections.
Vimal Kedia, managing director, Manjushree Technopack
“If waste is segregated and disposed correctly, it will help plastics waste to be recycled more effectively and we can create many things from recycled plastics waste. To change people’s behavior towards waste management and segregation is an easy task, but steps like these could go a long way in building empathy and belief that there are ways to bring about environmental changes if every citizen understands and appreciates their civic responsibility,” said KK Seksaria, president, Plastindia Foundation.
Plastindia Foundation also displayed a PET bottle flaking machine by Biocrux India at the event. This machine reduces the waste volume by almost 85% and can store 500 PET bottles of 1 liter size. It has a capacity of flaking 120-150 bottles per hour. The solution is apt for public places like shopping malls, schools, movie theaters, etc., where usage of PET bottles is heavy.
Packaging South Asia also caught up with Vimal Kedia, managing director, Manjushree Technopack after the event to talk about the pressing issue of plastic waste. Manjushree is one of the largest PET bottle manufacturers in India with some of the biggest names in the FMCG industry as its customers.
According to Kedia, the biggest challenge India faces today is that of improper segregation and disposal of plastic waste. “The need of the hour is to create mass awareness about proper segregation of wet and dry waste and also about the huge benefits of plastic waste recycling. The public has to understand that plastic going into water bodies and landfill is very harmful. There is a need for strict laws regarding this as well,” said Kedia.
He stressed on the need for recycling of plastic waste not only because the recycled plastic can be used for various applications but also because it reduces the amount of plastic that enters overall waste. Kedia also suggested that small plastic items such as gutkha packs and small shampoo bottles need to be restricted along with certain types of plastic.
As an important stakeholder in the plastic industry, Manjushree is doing its bit to spread awareness about recycling and waste disposal.
PET bottle flaking machine by Biocrux
‘Reuseum’ is a unique initiative undertaken by Manjushree to spread awareness on plastics recycling and encourage people to recycle plastics. Situated near Bidadi, the Reuseum is spread across 2214.38 square meters and hosts exhibits, art installations and wall murals of various artists to facilitate wider awareness and understanding on recycling. It will have a DIY center, research lab and library to spark creative ideas on recycling and sustainability. It hosts furniture, demo centers and interactive workshops to inspire people.
Manjushree has also designed and published a recycling guide called Recycle Right with the motive of educating kids on the importance of recycling and to encourage them to recycle. The recycling guides will be distributed among school children. The company has designed a dedicated website on plastics recycling to encourage the practice of recycling among the general public – www.recycleright.in
Finally, talking about Manjushree’s business plans for this year, Kedia said that capacity expansion will happen at Manjushree’s green field plant in Assam. This plant caters to customers such as Dabur, Patanjali and Emami.
Last year, Manjushree acquired its smaller rival Varahi, which offers rigid packaging solutions to packaged consumer goods companies, beverage and drug makers. It has manufacturing units in Noida, Baddi and Pantnagar. Kedia informed that expansion will also happen at Baddi and Pantnagar while a new unit will be set up near Delhi.
“We are a pan India company now, with presence close to our customers. This is significant as logistics plays a very important role in our business,” Kedia concluded.