Top institutions collaborate to recycle plastic & PPE waste

Scientists from at least four Indian institutions are coming together to recycle the deluge of single-use plastics thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) Dehradun, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) Durgapur, and Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Lucknow — all affiliated with the government’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) — are collaborating to convert discarded personal protective equipment (PPE), and other plastic waste of the pandemic into fuel or pellets that can be molded into automobile parts or used for road construction. 

“We have an in-principle approval from the CSIR. The work on sanitizing waste materials is already underway at the IIP and the CMERI. The waste will be shredded and then agglomerated into standardised plastic pellets,” C.V. Rode, a scientist at CSIR-NCL, who is heading the programme, informed ThePrint.  

These pellets will be sent to the NCL, which has the technology to test their structural and chemical properties. Based on the properties of the pellets produced, the researchers will work with industry partners to decide their potential applications, Rode said, adding that the process will take about two to three months. The pellets can be molded into automobile parts, or plastic covers, or be used in road construction. 

Picture Credit: Photo by Bo de Visser from FreeImages

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