Mondelez India Invests to Recycle Multi Layered Plastics in India

New Delhi: Mondelez India, today announced a grant to Hasiru Dala, an NGO that will recycle Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) waste to create sustainable furniture boards for creating tables, benches and for other uses. The pilot project will use the technology purchased from start-up TrashCon, to convert ~600 tonnes of MLP waste per annum into ‘WoW Boards’. The project was facilitated by Ubuntoo, a global environment solutions company.

“One of the key challenges in India, is recycling of multi layered plastics given infrastructure constraints. While on the one hand, we continue to work with the government to support collection, segregation and recycling, we felt it was critical to experiment and support enterprising technologies and initiatives that can recycle multi layered plastics at scale to address the issues of waste management. This unique and one-of-a-kind pilot project recycles multi layered plastics to create WoW Boards that are highly durable and a sustainable plywood alterative for building, construction, furniture, and other end uses. We have made a grant to Hasiru Dala that will convert waste to wealth, generate employment and create a viable business model while addressing the challenges of MLP in a sustainable manner. The success of this project and its learnings will create a model for companies in India to replicate for MLP recycling at scale. We are very excited to pilot this initiative.”, said Deepak Iyer, President – India, Mondelēz International.

“Ubuntoo works with thousands of innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to address some of the planet’s biggest environmental challenges. This pilot project is especially exciting because it has global potential to help solve not just plastic waste, but also reduce the huge environmental footprint of the building and construction industry.”, said Venkatesh Kini, Co- Founder of Ubuntoo.

As part of this initiative, MLP waste will be collected by Hasiru Dala’s wide network of waste collection units and then processed and converted at a special unit set up in Bangalore into recycled ‘WoW Boards’, which is a highly durable and efficient alternative to plywood. The technology

solution, provided by TrashCon, a start-up waste recycling equipment manufacturer, will create highly durable WoW Boards that can be used for a variety of purposes – both industrial and consumer. The initiative through funding by Mondelez India and in partnership with its impact investing arm, Sustainable Futures, is expected to begin commercial production in July 2021.

“Hasiru Dala has been working with local government in Bengaluru to manage inorganic waste for several years by creating entrepreneurs out of waste pickers. We have always been looking for solutions to multi-layered and low value plastic. A study in 2018 has shown more than 80 percent of plastic waste collected is low value but bring almost nothing in terms of income to the centres. They typically end up at landfills or in co-processing in cement kilns. The WoW boards will help bring income to the waste pickers and will have applications particularly in replacing wood- based sheets in construction and furnishings.”, said Nalini Shekar, Co-founder, Hasiru Dala.

“At TrashCon, we have invented patented technology to convert MLP coming from houses, streets and even landfills into an alternative to plywood thus solving not only the plastic issue but also preventing incessant cutting of trees. We’re really pleased that Mondelez India is supporting Hasiru Dala in adopting TrashCon’s technology.”, said Nivedha RM, Founder, TrashCon.

As part of the Mondelēz International’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, it is addressing the biggest sustainability challenges relevant to its business, which includes plastics pollution. Over 97% of Mondelez India’s packaging is currently designed to be recyclable. In 2019- 2020 and in 2020-21, the company achieved 100% Extended Producer Responsibility targets in India.