Marico Innovation Foundation’s Plastics Initiative Shows Promise in Tackling Waste Crisis

Startups save 124,360 tons of CO2 emissions, highlighting potential of innovative solutions

A program by the Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) is showing promising results in tackling India’s growing plastic waste problem. The initiative, which supports startups developing innovative solutions for plastic waste management, has helped participating companies collectively save a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions and divert tons of plastic waste from landfills.

According to MIF’s report, released at the Plastics Program Roundup 2023-24, twelve startups within the program’s portfolio have saved a combined 124,360 tons of CO2 emissions in the past year. These companies are featured in MIF’s “Innovation in Plastics: The Potential and Possibilities” playbook, which highlights promising solutions for addressing the plastics challenge.

The report also highlights the alarming growth of India’s plastic consumption, which doubled from 14 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 20 million tonnes in 2019-20. Worryingly, the country only recycles about 30% of its plastic waste, despite generating 3.4 million tonnes annually.

MIF-supported startups are offering unique solutions to address this complex issue. Companies like Ibanss and Dharaksha are utilizing biocraft innovation and mycelium technology to effectively manage agricultural waste. Others, such as Ishitva Robotics, Padcare, and Bintix, are focusing on various aspects of waste collection, sorting, and recycling, contributing to significant environmental and economic benefits.

Harsh Mariwala, Founder of MIF, emphasized the organization’s commitment to driving innovation in plastic waste management. “MIF is at the forefront of this journey,” he stated, “providing a nurturing environment that goes beyond capital to build a prototype for plastic waste management that can be deployed globally.”

Amit Chandra, Honorary Chairperson of MIF’s Governing Council, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the program’s potential to revolutionize the waste management sector. He commended MIF’s support for disruptive innovators and its role in building a sustainable ecosystem for future advancements.

Suranjana Ghosh, Head of MIF, emphasized the organization’s ongoing support for the participating startups. “Since the launch of the playbook,” she noted, “MIF has taken the lead in following its recommendations, prioritizing the support and nurturing of startups.” This dedication has resulted in “multi-crore deal orders” for the startups, showcasing the program’s tangible impact.

The MIF’s Plastics Initiative demonstrates the potential of innovative solutions to address the growing challenge of plastic waste. By supporting and nurturing startups in this sector, the program offers a promising path towards a more sustainable future for India and potentially serves as a valuable model for other countries facing similar challenges.