The Huhtamaki Foundation inaugurated its first recycling plant in Khopoli, Maharashtra today to help drive circularity for packaging. The site – which is spread across 2,000 square meters – will recycle about 1,600 kilograms of post-consumer used flexible plastic waste per day from early May as the plant becomes fully operational.
The Central Pollution Board of India (2012) estimates that India generates close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste a day and a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected.
The recycling plant was set up with an investment of INR 90 million as part of the Huhtamaki Foundation’s #CloseTheLoop initiative to tackle post-consumer waste to deliver a valuable secondary resource material. It will process post-consumer waste to create resin to produce refined compounds to be used for household products for consumers in India.
The Recycling plant – which is the first of a kind – uses advanced technology to enable the efficient sorting of post-consumer waste, hot washing to remove any contamination, extrusion with extra filtration and deodorisation. This ensures the recycled material can then be used for domestic appliances. The Huhtamaki Foundation worked with the local community and authority in Maharashtra, NGOs, social enterprises, and educational institutes – including Swachh, Stri Mukti Sanghtana, CIPET and ICT – to develop this sustainable plastic waste management system. The plant will be fully operational from May 2, 2022.
“The Huhtamaki Foundation has been set up to work towards the conservation of the environment in India with a focus on driving sustainable packaging solutions and driving forward the circular economy by setting up recycling schemes. It actively advocates for alternate sustainable plastic packaging structures, solutions and ease of recyclability”, said Sunil Bhagwat, Trustee of Huhtamaki Foundation.
“Setting up the recycling plant is the first step that the Huhtamaki Foundation has taken in the direction of driving circularity. Over the next few years, we will strive to set up similar facilities in major geographies in India. We are constantly evaluating newer recycling technologies that could be deployed”, he further added.
“The Huhtamaki Foundation is a charitable trust settled by Huhtamaki with a view to support the conservation of the environment in India and carry out activities in relation to plastic waste. Its focus is on sustainable packaging solutions and driving forward the circular economy by setting up, amongst others, programs in environmental sustainability and recyclability, with a view to identify, incubate and invest in opportunities designed to intercept plastics at source by collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste so that waste gets diverted from the environment into the recycling value chain, furthering the circular economy, thereby benefitting the environment, industries and public at large”, said Marco Hilty, President Flexible Packaging Huhtamaki.
“Food packaging is instrumental in driving access to affordable food for all by ensuring hygiene and safety of food and keeping it edible for longer. Whilst the functionality of packaging can’t be compromised, further improvements in the management of post-consumer packaging waste is essential if we are to close the loop on circularity”, said Thomasine Kamerling, Executive Vice President of Sustainability and Communications at Huhtamaki.
In addition, closing the loop on waste handling and circularity will help in addressing some of the environmental and social impacts caused by improper waste management. Sorting waste at home is recommended as the way to prevent household waste from ending up at a landfill. By separating organic waste, plastic waste and other dry recyclables, which can be composted, recycled and upcycled, consumers can become part of the solution”, she added.
The recycling plant has been constructed as per the Green Building Certification of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and effectively uses less water, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to conventional facilities. The newly set-up recycling plant is a zero-discharge plant as per the latest standard of the Pollution Control Board. A state-of-the-art MVR (Mechanical Vapour Recompression system) has been installed to treat the effluent and the treated water is reused with ~90% water recovery. In addition, a rainwater harvesting system is also deployed to conserve water. Moreover, the road to the plant is made of bitumen mixed with plastic waste and the multiple streetlights around the plant have been replaced by high mast lighting system to optimise electrical utilities and cables without compromising on light luminosity. LED lights are also installed within the premises to save power. Furthermore, over 150 trees have been planted around the plant which are watered/maintained using water sprinklers and drip-irrigation technology.
Huhtamaki is a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, enabling wellbeing and convenience. Our innovative products protect on-the-go and on-the-shelf food and beverages, ensuring hygiene and safety, driving accessibility and affordability, and helping prevent food waste. We embed sustainability in everything we do. We are committed to achieving carbon neutral production and designing all our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.
We are a participant in the UN Global Compact and EcoVadis has awarded Huhtamaki with the Gold medal for performance in sustainability. To play our part in managing climate change, we have set science-based targets that have been approved and validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative.
With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage we operate in 38 countries and 114 operating locations around the world. Our values Care Dare Deliver guide our decisions and help our team of 19,800 employees make a difference where it matters. Our 2021 net sales totalled EUR 3.6 billion. Huhtamaki Group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and our parent company, Huhtamäki Oyj, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out more about how we are protecting food, people and the planet at www.huhtamaki.com.
Huhtamaki India Limited settled ‘Huhtamaki Foundation’ as a charitable trust with a view to support the conservation of the environment in India and carry out activities in relation to plastic waste. The Huhtamaki Foundation will be managed and operated independently by its Trustees to achieve its core purposes.