Following its establishment of an Indian subsidiary earlier this year, London based plastic recycling consultancy, Nextek UK, has conducted seminars in Mumbai and Pune in conjunction with the All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA) and Indian Plastics Institute (IPI).
The consultants said that the aim was to help boost the recycling of waste plastics and address the looming spread of bans on plastics.
Nextek Ltd established its subsidiary, Nextek Consultants PVT Ltd, in the manufacturing hub of Pune, India, to work with local organisations to boost the rate of recycling of waste plastics that have been the centre of controversial plastic bans in a growing number of Indian states.
These bans have focussed on lightweight bags and single use packaging, including cups and cutlery in response to the growing concern over the accumulation of waste plastics in the environment.
According to Nextek, given that the consumption of plastics is expected to double from around 10.5 million tonnes per year in 2015 to 20 million tonnes in 2020, there is an urgent need for action.
The seminars, Advances in Recycling Technologies and Business Models for Plastics in a Circular Economy, focused on the details of the local bans and industry growth trends and challenges.
“I was impressed by the rapid acceptance of the concept of the circular economy and the concern of local companies to counterbalance the bans by extolling the benefits of plastics and seeking new innovations in plastics recycling,” commented Prof Edward Kosior, managing director of Nextek.
He added that two key topics in particular generated a lot of interest; the recycling of complex films and the automatic sorting of packaging as local companies seek to extend their capabilities beyond current basic technologies.
“We have met resin companies, manufacturers and recyclers that are looking for new markets with increased margins and are prepared to invest to improve productivity and profits,” continued the professor.
Manoj Pant, executive director of Nextek Consultants, India added: “For many years we have heard a lot of talk about doing something about plastic litter and waste, but usually nothing happens.”
“This is an industry that needs a coordinated approach in order to achieve the recycling goals demanded by the public and local governments,” he continued.
According to Kosior on earlier visits to India the consultants examined the waste management systems of Mumbai and Pune and found that the missing element was the lack of an effective waste collection system.
“The recycling companies and infrastructure can be readily expanded to convert waste plastics once this is achieved. This is slowly happening at the moment but needs to be rapidly accelerated,” he concluded.
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