Reimagine Plastic is an initiative to bring together scholars, scientists, startups etc to share ideas and problems to rethink the way we are approaching the problem of plastic disposal.

This initiatives is planned with 7 key activities- pillars per say- listed as follows

Recycling Innovations

Reimagining around Recycling and Upcycling of industrial as well as post-consumer plastic waste with special focus on Post-consumer Multi-Layer Plastic Packaging (MLP)
a. Rigid packaging (crates, barrels) – need reverse logistics
b. Reverse Vending Machine for bottles – Gurgaon – INR 1 per bottle (Gem Enviro Management) recycled into laptop bags, T shirts, caps

Process and Design Innovations

Reimagining around Process and Design products to make it more sustainable and easy to recycle. Some of the process Innovations specifically related to new and environmental friendly processes for manufacture, recycling and waste management including business processes related to them as follows –

1) Sorting (startups): Chemical markers (EU Polymark project) can sort food PET from non-food PET ,Types of markers: Marker blended with polymer, coating on bottle, label on bottle, Detection methods: optical (UV, fluorescence) , Baltimore optical sorting- blows items into correct stream, Polymer Identification (WRAP, UK): machine readable inks and sorting techniques to improve polymer identification , Indian recyclers have developed indigenous technologies which allow them to recycle mixed and contaminated plastic waste into woven products such as carpets, mats.

2) Recycling (startups) High quality plastic pellet production at scale (Banyan Nation in HYD) , Conserve India (LDPE-> Handmade Recycled Plastic) , Thermochemical recycling for multi material packaging , High quality recycling processes (hot-washing and degassing), China has formed recycling clusters and provided common effluent treatment plants (India Dept. of Science and Technology) is looking at this, Unilever Creasolv (in partnership with Fraunhofer) to recycle sachet waste – set up waste collection schemes for sachets

3) Product Design – Plastic hooks can be used to hold railtrack, Disposable food bowl, Bamboo handle tooth brushes

4) Packaging Design – Multi-layer to mono layer, connected bottle cap design, Flip top for Ketchup or shampoo bottles connecting closure to main bottle, Nepenthes bottle concept – removes need for lid, Dispenser replacing sachets in restaurants, Disappearing package concept e.g. laundry pods – pods are water soluble and stitched together forming a sheet, Redesign small format to be compostable.

5) Design and implementation of Policy reforms and process reforms

Material Innovations

Reimagining around Materials which are better suited to recycling/reuse and composting (bio-based, biodegradable) at scale Bio Plastics and Bio Composites (Green Dot BioPlastics), Development of mono material solutions (Dow-Printpack-Tyson Foods- recyclable stand up pouch) , Development of plastics from greenhouse gases (E.g. Netherlands Ioniqa, Newlight’s AirCarbon Co2 -> PU), J&K Agro JV with Earthsoul India: built bioplastic mfg. facility

Internet of Plastic

Reimagining around Internet & cloud based innovations to promote sustainability. Waste management technology (e.g. Banyan Nation – bin sensors i.e. SMART bins, gps tracking of trucks, biometric worker attendance, mobile monitoring of waste sources), Enevo startup (Rotterdam) – waste monitoring solution , Assess fill level of waste containers , Tracks waste generation, Aids route planning for pick ups.

Circular Economy

Reimagining around acceleration a transition to a circular economy by working with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.

Applying concepts of Circular economy to Plastic industry value chain

a. Creating integrated systems and infrastructure (e.g. SMART cities) to enable proper waste collection, sorting and conversion

b. Circular packaging service – reuse e.g. RePack (Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helsinki) which includes reusable package delivery, prepaid returns, rewards system for businesses and consumers, Uses PE, PP and cardboard packaging ,Customers get shopping rewards for dropping package into post-box, Materials designed to be used for 20 times , Also sends reminders to customers to encourage returns and collect feedback , Packages handled by social workers association, employing people with disabilities

Renewable Energy

Reimagining around Innovations around Renewable energy and its usage in plastic industry in both manufacturing and recycling
Eg – Converting plastics into energy and fuel, other renewable sources of energy; using renewable energy for production, processing and after-use systems of plastics, Conducted an idea contest for Indian startups working in clean-tech and renewable energy

Stakeholder Engagement

Reimagining around IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities like citizen engagement campaigns for behavioural change;
Engagement with various stakeholders to promote cleanliness by collection , responsible segregation and support to government and private recycling  campaigns

Reimagine Plastic Challenge is planned as precursor to CleanEdge2.0 startup accelerator program.