Clean Tech

From pet to paint: personal recycling is now making its mark

Preeti Mehra | Updated on January 17, 2018

A recycling machine developed by Biocrux India — and made locally — targets the end-consumer

Next time you guzzle a beverage, you could also have the pleasure of recycling the pet bottle yourself.

You would just have to put it into the Biocrux plastic bottle crushing and flaking machine lying in the corner and be assured that the recycled flakes will find their way as an additive to alkyd, enamel or lacquer paint or as resin.

Pitched as the 360 degree solution for plastic waste, the recycling contraption has been developed by Biocrux India. It has been locally designed, fabricated and assembled to be used at the point of consumption.

“That is the USP of the Biocrux machine. It is meant for consumers to personally recycle the pet bottle once they have polished off its contents. It is ideal for public places, tourist spots, malls, fairs – wherever consumption is happening. We have installed it at the Elephanta caves in Mumbai where it is serving the public well,” says Ajay Mishra, the Founder Director & CEO.

A chartered accountant who has worked in companies like Lakme Lever, L’Oreal India and Reliance Industries, Ajay decided to go it alone after what he witnessed in Mumbai during the devastating July 2005 floods where plastic bottles were overflowing and choking all the sewage channels. Living out his passion he began to spend weekends creating a machine that would turn the bottles into a useful substance.

He was soon joined by Asesh Sarkar, a polymer engineer who had rich experience in paints company Akzonobel for over 7 years. Now Managing Director of Biocrux, he believes in the virtue of frugality and the vision of open innovation.

The first Biocrux machine was installed in 2012 in Mumbai's Inorbit Mall. Today the contraptions are present in Pune and Bangalore as well and hope to reach another four to five cities before the financial year is over.

“Bisleri was the first company that liked the product and came forward to sponsor the machines. Now others have also shown interest and installed them, starting a “PET neutral” drive among the employees. Biocrux India ensures that flakes from these are going to the right channel for recycling in the most sustainable way. Our approach saves a lot of CO2 emission in recycling, reduces transportation cost, fuel by 9-10 times on handling these wastes, saves two-thirds water compared to existing recycling process,” says Mishra.

He laments the state of waste management today and points out that two-thirds of the country's wastes are going to dump yards. He has found that municipalities exhaust 70 to 90 per cent of their budget on the logistics of waste clearance with almost no funds, time or energy spent on sustainable disposal. “Two-third of India’s PET bottles are not getting recycled, these are either thrown or sometimes refilled with water for drinking and reselling.

The company, apart from providing the BIocrux machines, is now embarking on the second phase of the recycling by finding different uses for the flakes that are produced. It has already succeeded in using it as a paint addictive. “We are also looking at the possibility of turning the flakes into polyester yarn, or creating dust bins with it or using them to build temporary shelters. “The 360 degree cycle must be completed. The aim is that there is no reuse, no misuse of PET bottles and they do not land up in the landfills”.

Published on August 17, 2016

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