The plastic industry in India & Lucro's role as a recycler
The plastic Industry in India
The Plastic Industry of India currently employs about 4 million people and has over 30,000 processing units about 85% of which are small and medium sized enterprises. It hosts more than 2000 exporters.
- In FY20, plastic and linoleum export from India stood at US$ 7.55 billion.
- During April 2019 to January 2020, plastic export stood at US$ 7.045 billion.
Not only are plastics lightweight but have versatile properties and demand a lower price; making it suitable for a wide range of products. Food, consumer goods, electronics, textile, transportation, medical and automotive industries are all highly dependent on plastics. The lightweight property of plastic makes it the easiest and most affordable packaging product to use domestically as well as during export. All of this and the fact that we cannot currently replace plastic with anything else for increasing the shelf life of food, plastics are the go to product for most industries.
Plastic – waste or value?
Recycling is the best option for plastic. While there are many plastic recycling companies in India, there aren’t many companies that are creating value from the recycled material. The production model of plastic is huge and uncontrollable with many unregistered trades, the numbers of recycling plants are very less. This vast gap must be closed. This is the gap that Lucro has been closing.
In India, demand for plastic was due to be 20 million tons in 2020 (CIPET). Total plastics consumed for packaging in 2018 was around 59%, 42% consumption was for flexible and 17% consumption was for rigid packaging (PlastIndia, 2019).
100% of the plastic waste collected in Lucro sorting facility is flexible plastic waste. About 80% of the Plastic waste is post-consumer plastic waste. Not only do we sort, segregate and clean the plastic waste, we close the loop by creating recycled and recyclable plastic products that are used by brands to replace virgin plastic.
The Lucro Model
Lucro harnesses the possibilities of flexible plastic to produce High quality, innovative and recycled-content products. We source plastic waste from various locations in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and others.
The reason we have been able to maintain good quality in our end products while keeping costs down is our active participation in each stage of the waste value chain.
We are creating a Circular Economy, to make the use of plastic Sustainable. All the processes are handled in-house. We collect, recycle and makes final products out of HDPE, LDPE and PP plastic waste- some of the highest used plastics in India. During the manufacturing process, we are able to create higher value out of the plastic waste- the benefits of this higher value are passed down the supply chain to the first mile waste picker. Besides exporting a lot of recycled final product and pellets, we have been working with some of the biggest brands in the domestic market to help companies close the loop on their plastic waste.