Hyderabad-based startup Banyan Nation is transforming plastic recycling in India – cleaning and recycling 1,200 tonnes of plastic annually before sending it back to the manufacturing sector for reuse.
Banyan Nation helps clean and re-engineer plastic waste and render it as close to virgin plastic as possible. The near-virgin grade recycled plastic that Banyan Nation creates from post-consumer and post-industrial waste streams is known as Better Plastic.
The thermal technology Banyan Nation has developed helps rid plastics off contaminants like metals, labels, auto paints, inks, dirt, oils, and adhesives.
The demand for recycled plastic is very low in India, unlike in Western markets where leading corporations are openly using re-engineered plastic in packaging.
In India, most of the plastic recycling is done informally and often illegally, and the cleaning is so rudimentary that it reduces the material’s quality such that it cannot be reused, according to Banyan Nation.
It was India’s environmental crisis – much of which was triggered by huge volumes of non-recycled plastic – that inspired Banyan Nation founder Mani Vajipey to set up the plastic recycling startup in 2013.
Banyan Nation has supplied its Better Plastic to domestic car marker Tata Motors and French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, both of whom use Better Plastic in auto components and product packaging respectively. In 2017, Tata Motors used recycled plastic in its car bumpers, while L’Oreal brought shampoo bottles made out of Banyan’s Better Plastic. Both have helped put the Hyderabad-based startup on the global sustainability map.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.