India’s largest petrochemicals manufacturer Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will double its PET bottles recycling capacity, a company official said. RIL is one of the largest recycler of PET (post-consumer) waste in India and currently has a recycling capacity of 2 billion such bottles. The capacity will more than double to 5 million bottles over the coming months.”MoU has already been signed to double the capacity and it will be executed in 18 months,” said Vipul Shah, COO of RIL’s petrochemicals business.
Shah declined to divulge details of the company RIL has signed the MoU with. The Mukesh Ambani-led company recycles plastic waste into objects such as spectacles, park benches and fishing nets, and has partnered Tetra Pak to run a “GoGreen” initiative.
It has developed biodegradable polymers for packaging that perform as well as popular packaging polymers in terms of physical and mechanical properties. In its annual report, RIL said the PET business has involved end consumers in its recycling initiative.
The initiative encourages end consumers to deposit empty PET bottles at reverse vending machines installed at Reliance SMART stores, railway stations and various other locations. “This development will reduce plastic waste generation and adverse environmental impacts,” RIL said in its annual report for 2018-19.
Global annual waste generation will grow 70% between 2016 and 2050, the World Bank estimates. While food waste still represents the largest share, the rise of e-commerce has caused an exponential rise in cardboard and other packaging trash. Municipalities across India have been trying to use technology to measure trash usage, have robots that can collect trash and detect and sort items by material type, and breakthroughs which will reduce landfill waste by 90%.
India is the world’s fastest growing polymer market with a 5-year CAGR (2014-18) demand growth of 9.1%. It is the second largest demand hub for polymer in Asia after China.
RIL has also launched a project to use plastic waste in road construction. It has so far constructed three plastic-to-roads projects on a pilot basis and the initiative, said the company, has helped it create a solution for disposal of non-recyclable post-consumer plastic waste.
As part of the initiative, RIL will sell the plastic waste mixture for road laying.