The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) will set up a PET bottle recycled polyester staple fibre plant, with financial assistance from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), at Nilackal as part of an effort to combat the plastic waste menace at Sabarimala and surrounding areas.
Talking to The Hindu, Subhash Vasu, member, TDB, said BPCL had handed over Rs.5 crore to the board through Chief Minister Oommen Chandy two days ago for executing the project after obtaining clearance from the Kerala High Court.
Mr. Vasu said the Rs.15-crore polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling plant would be able to contain effectively the plastic waste menace at Sabarimala, besides making it a very good revenue-earning venture for the TDB.
The plastic waste generation, mainly PET bottles, at Sabarimala during the two-month-long annual pilgrim season alone is estimated at 130 tonnes, G. Mahesh, architect of the Chennai-based Pithavadian and Partners Ltd. who is also the consultant of the high-power committee for implementation of the Sabarimala master plan, said.
Mr. Vasu said the proposed recycling unit would also be of great help in recycling the huge quantity of plastic waste generated in Central and Southern Kerala.
The major user segment for regenerated polyester staple fibre was the textile industry, mainly synthetic yarn spinning mills.
The fibre also found applications in apparels, personal hygiene items such as gloves and medical kits (bandages and gauze), packaging, reinforced automotive plastic parts, filtration, and construction and geo-textiles.