Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) organized the Uttarakhand Plastics Summit 2023 in collaboration with the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board on October 10 in which 250 plus industry representatives from different sectors participated on recycling and reuse of plastics used by industries by developing innovative technologies. It also witnessed participants, faculty members, and startups, including eight unicorns, founded by alumni of IIT Roorkee, exhibitors, staff, and enthusiastic students from ABN School and IIT Roorkee.
The theme of this summit was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a plastic-positive nation besides fostering a discussion on the need for industry and academia to work together to fulfil the Extended Producers Responsibility Rules 2022 of the Central Pollution Control Board, which are under implementation now. Under this mandate, industries need to work on recycling and reuse of plastics used by industries by developing innovative technologies.
Cutting-edge technologies developed by faculty and startups in the IITR Ecosystem were presented. Environment-friendly Biodegradable Substitutes for Single-use Plastics, High-Efficiency Enzymes for Plastics and Plasticizers Biodegradation, Recycling of Mixed Plastic Waste, and Converting Plastic Waste into Wealth were also exhibited. Initiatives like manufacturing paver blocks from plastic waste are in progress, demonstrating how we can turn plastic waste into valuable products, which were displayed during the expo at the summit. These are the technologies developed in the IITR ecosystem which can contribute to the vision of a sustainable environment.
Among those who attended included Prof K K Pant, Director, IIT Roorkee, S.K Pattnaik, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, Dr. Ankur Kansal, Assitant Environment Officer, Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, Rajiv Bhaskar, Treasurer of the Indian Plastics Institute (IPI), Delhi, Abhishek Rajvansh, Joint Director & Head CIPET-CSTS, Dehradun, Gautam Kapoor, Secretary Bhagwanpur Industries Association, Haringer Garg, Chairman, SIDCUL Manufacturers Association Uttarakhand, are the distinguished delegates from various government agencies and industries who attended the event.
During the summit, Prof. Akshay Dvivedi, Dean SRIC, delivered a presentation highlighting IIT Roorkee’s innovation eco system and objectives in the field of environmental sustainability. This presentation provided valuable insights into the institution’s efforts to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable practices, further emphasizing its commitment to such causes. Such initiatives and objectives are crucial in sharing knowledge and best practices among participants, fostering collaboration in pursuing sustainability goals.
Here are a few quotes from the speakers at the event:
Mihir Banerji, speaking on the occasion highlighted, “At the individual level, we can take small yet meaningful steps towards achieving this monumental goal of creating a plastic-positive environment. Our efforts are not just for IIT Roorkee, or this state, or our nation, or even the world; they are for the well-being of our future generations, who deserve to inherit a planet where they can cherish the beauty of Mother Nature.”
Rajiv Bhaskar, Treasurer, Indian Plastic Institute, Delhi “Research on plastics holds the key to sustainable solutions, and it’s imperative that we invest in establishing a dedicated graduate center for this purpose. This initiative will not only create R&D opportunities but also nurture the talents and innovators of tomorrow, ensuring a brighter, plastic-positive future.”
K. Pattnaik, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Pollution Control Boardsaid “I believe that through collective efforts and innovative solutions, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future, where plastics coexist harmoniously with our environment.”
Prof K K Pant, Director, IIT Roorkee, said, “In this journey towards a plastic-positive environment, let us also strengthen the crucial bonds between Research & Development (R&D), industry, and academia. Together, through innovation and collaboration, we can pave the way for sustainable solutions.”
The event is an outcome of the Tech Sarthi Scheme by IIT Roorkee to propose technical solutions for any issues the industries face. The scheme was launched to assist industrial units around the Roorkee region in developing technologies and products that can meet international standards.