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Towards turning India PET neutral

Preeti Mehra | Updated on September 27, 2019 Published on September 27, 2019

Representative image

The Biocrux plastic bottle crushing and flaking machine would neutralise all the PET bottles

On Monday, this week, the Mumbai to New Delhi Rajdhani train was greener than ever before.

Reason: It was carrying for the first time in its pantry car the Biocrux plastic bottle crushing and flaking machine that would neutralise all the PET bottles distributed to passengers on board.

To be used by the Railways’ housekeeping team, the first journey saw 500 to 600 bottles not being thrown on the tracks as they usually are. Instead, they were recycled and turned into flakes that will be used as additives for a few industries including textiles and paints.

“This is the trial period for the Rajdhani and the response has been good the last few days. We hope this can happen in all the trains running across the country,” says Ajay Mishra, Founder and CEO at Biocrux India who has pioneered the PET neutral concept in India by developing the recycling machine around eight years ago. The first Biocrux machine was installed in 2012 in Mumbai’s Inorbit Mall.

Today, the contraption is used in 350 locations across the country. Recommended by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for all railway stations and airports, the company’s pet neutral journey has gone much beyond that and embraced all kinds of destinations. The recycling machine can now be found in crowd pulling spots such as Vaishnodevi, Amarnath shrine area, Ujjain, Somnath, Bangalore, Ooty and Mysore among the 70 odd small and big cities it is installed in.

Being the first player in the market and committed to the environment, Mishra has managed to network extensively within both government and corporate circles.

Apart from the Railways, which has put up a hundred plus recyclers at its stations, Biocrux has companies such as Parle Agro, Coca Cola, Reliance, IOC, ONGC, the Rotary Club of India and many voluntary organisations backing its venture. It is also installed on the campuses of TCS and Infosys, making them PET neutral.

What makes the Biocrux machine stand out from competition that has recently joined the fray is its use of Internet of Things (IoT). “All our machines are linked to one server so at any given time we know how many bottles have been crushed, which contraption is not functioning and needs maintenance. So, we can service them and collect the waste accordingly,” Mishra explains. He regrets that some of the recent players do not do follow up enough after their machine is installed. “So often their machines are not functioning and I am asked about it”.

Biocrux also offers an incentive to users from time to time, sometimes in the form of a tiny cashback. “People have become very receptive, especially teenagers. I find them picking up bottles from the roads and putting them in the crusher.” What he finds most fulfilling is the question students ask during their campaigns: Which is the machine closest to my school or college, eager to see it and use it. Currently, Biocrux is running the #PlasticBottleRecycleChallenge in the social media and hopes to motivate many more and bring them into the green fold.

Published on September 27, 2019
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