The Roadmap To Achieving Plastic Circularity in India

Experts from the Indian plastic industry analyse the country’s journey towards achieving a circular economy in plastic at a roundtable discussion organised by Waste & Recycling MEA magazine and Rebound Plastic Exchange.

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March 21 2023
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Abu-Dhabi based Rebound Plastic Exchange and Waste & Recycling MEA magazine organised a roundtable discussion on the Indian Plastic Industry in New Delhi on February 2, 2023. Plastic recyclers, manufacturers, technology providers, and other stakeholders from the Indian plastic industry joined this riveting discussion.

The experts exchanged thoughts on how India can reduce the environmental impact of plastic by keeping the material in the loop, while also reaping economic benefits. They also reviewed India’s plastic waste management rules, recycling efforts, plastic market, and challenges & opportunities in trading amongst other topics.

The event began with a panel discussion on ‘The Role of Recycled Plastic Trading in achieving Circularity’, with the panelists: Hiten Bheda, Chairman, Environment Committee, All India Plastic Manufacturers Association; Shalini Goyal Balla, Managing Director, International Council for Circular Economy; and Captain Satyendra Vaidya, Advisor, The Shakti Plastic Industries. Commenting on the demand and supply, Hiten Bheda pointed out that the demand for recycled plastic has been increasing from the corporate or formal sector since the past five to seven years due to the regulatory requirements that mandate brands to include a certain percentage of recycled content. He also noted that recycling is just one element in achieving circularity and doesn’t provide a complete circularity in plastic, as a product.

Shalini Goyal Balla stressed the importance of designing out waste as the entire focus right now is towards the end-of-life materials, as well as a standardisation for secondary material.

Capt. Satyendra Vaidya underscored that the materials which go into various products should be made suitable for recycling. Speaking in support of decentralisation, he recommended the creation of more recycling clusters to  shorten the logistics chain and to reduce carbon footprint.

Roundtable Discussion

It was highlighted that stakeholders will have to work in collaboration with each other to improve efficiency. Batting for technology as an enabler, some of the experts at the roundtable said that technology can facilitate customised solutions and that more investment should be diverted towards innovation.

The panelists drew attention towards material consciousness and need for uniformity in packaging, labeling or cap materials. The discussion also dealt with the practical difficulties in implementing laws to reduce plastic pollution.

A large part of the discussion dwelled on challenges in accessing quality feedstock, ensuring traceability, and obtaining quality certification.

The roundtable discussion was followed by a presentation on Rebound Plastic Exchange (RPX). Maryam Al Mansoori, General Manager, spoke about RPX’s digitalised solution that helps buyers and sellers across the world to trade qualityassured recycled plastics.

RPX facilitates the movement of nonhazardous, quality-assured plastic feedstock in a regulatory compliant way.

“Launched in September 2022, RPX is the only global marketplace that focuses on recycled plastic and complies with regulatory standards. We operate exclusively in the B2B sector and have our own KYC process for accepting members onto our platform. This process is designed to guarantee quality and trust across the value chain,” said Al Mansoori.

RPX’s certification protocol involves facility and quality inspections of all trades on the exchange. “Our aim is to keep plastic within the economy while ensuring it stays out of the environment,” she added.