Headquartered in New Delhi, TERI has regional centers and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji , and Nainital.
We are innovators and agents of change in the energy, environment, climate change and sustainability space, having pioneered conversations and action in these areas for over 40 years.
India’s plastic problem
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reports that plastic contributes to 8% of the total solid waste, with Delhi producing the maximum quantity followed by Kolkata and Ahmedabad. With the recent introduction of the Plastic Waste Management Rules in 2018 by the Government of India, there is a strong push to address the plastic pollution issues in the country.
Although recycling is one of the preferred ways to deal with plastic waste in the waste hierarchy, the concern is the heterogeneous properties of unsegregated and littered waste that remains scattered in the urban landscape. These result in an unpleasant landscape, choking of drains, and release of GHGs from landfills at times leading to fire.
Short-term use bio-plastics
One of the sustainable alternatives that could be considered to deal with plastic waste is to develop bio-based and biodegradable plastic which utilize starch, cellulose, and poly lactic acid as raw materials for short-term use products. India has a huge potential in producing bio-plastics due to the abundant availability of resources. The bio-plastics market in India is steadily improving and many industries have explored the manufacturing of bio-based products.
Bio-based products can be developed using different techniques and raw materials. One option is using recycled polymeric materials and blending them with biopolymers. Another approach is to develop the composites from only biopolymers without the incorporation of any kind of synthetic polymer. TERI has developed samples of such bio-based products in its R&D labs in Bangalore and found that:
The performance of bio-based products is about 70%; this is comparable to virgin plastic in terms of mechanical strength and thermal stability;
The products developed from these bio-based and biodegradable plastics would be suitable for packaging (food and nonfood items) and as mulch films in agriculture;
Generally, bio-based products also find applicability in carry bags, super absorbents for diapers, and wastewater treatment.
Looking for partnerships:
TERI is looking for partners to collaboratively work and develop sustainable bio-based alternatives to plastic with a business case. We want to establish business models that would result in a circular economy around the alternatives for long-term growth. We invite entrepreneurs, research organizations and corporates to reach out to us and work with us in the following areas:
- Collaborative R&D in development of bio-based alternates to plastic;
- Exploring various financial and business models to establish a circular economy;
- Investment in future facing research in the field of plastics.
Please note that for this item the contact person is not the owner of the item, but the person below.
Contact person: Dr R R N Sailaja Bhattacharya, Senior Fellow, TERI, Email: [email protected]