A pilot plant to process used plastic material is sought to be set up in the city soon. The Centre for Bio-Polymer Science and Technology, affiliated to the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET), is awaiting nod from the government to open an incubation centre to provide training to people in recycling of plastics. The centre has already submitted a proposal to the District Industries Centre.

It will be possible for an entrepreneur to set up a plastic recycling unit with Rs.50 lakh, which can produce 20 kg of recycled plastics per hour, says T.O. Varghese, Assistant Professor and head of the Kochi centre of CBPST. “There is no need to ban plastic; once the recycling process is in place, value-added products can be generated,” he says. According to him, the Indian per capita consumption of 5 kg of plastics is much lower than the global average of 25 kg.

One of the major advantages of using plastics is that it can decelerate deforestation, he says.

Plastic granules made from plastic waste is reinforced with tar and utilized for tarring roads.

“Banning plastic is no remedy to the malady. Instead, an awareness drive to recycle used bags and other plastic material is the answer to the problem”, says T.H. Badarudeen, General Secretary of Kerala Plastic Manufacturers Association and district president of Kerala State Small Industries Association.

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