Diversified entity ITC Ltd on Thursday said it has collaborated with Invest India, a non-profit venture by the central government for national investment promotion and facilitation, to crowdsource innovative ideas for single-use plastic substitution and automate waste segregation.
Under the collaboration, ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD) has launched the ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge, which would support innovative startup ideas on sustainable packaging and smart waste management solutions, the company said in a statement. As part of the initiative, through the Startup India portal, ITC PSPD is inviting responses from startups towards challenges laid out by the company to find sustainable and smart technology-based solutions that can substitute single-use plastics and automate waste segregation process with smart technology-based solutions to improve efficiency and speed.
ITC PSPD CEO Vadiraj Kulkarni said the disposal of plastic and non-biodegradable waste continues to pose the biggest challenge in solid waste management in India. The problem is further aggravated due to inefficient segregation of post-consumer waste at the source, which leads to a lot of waste ending up in landfills that are highly polluting. “We, at ITC, believe that businesses, both big and small, with their immense managerial and innovative capacity, can come together to contribute significantly towards finding innovative and sustainable packaging and waste management solutions, leading to transformative changes in the society,” Kulkarni added.
Invest India Managing Director and CEO Deepak Bagla said, “We look forward to accelerating efforts towards a more sustainable economic growth through the ITC Innovative Sustainability Challenge. Innovative startups will be able to showcase Made-in-India solutions that propel India towards a circular economy”. ITC said for sustainable packaging it is inviting ideas to replace plastic-based products with compostable food delivery solutions, using molded fibre packaging based on wood fibre, agri-waste etc. It is also looking for solutions under recyclable and/or compostable barrier coatings for the papers and paperboards category.
As for waste segregation, collection, and handling, the focus is on innovative and technology-based solutions for managing household and municipal waste based on different material types, such as paper, metal, glass and rigid plastic. “The ideas must include an effective revenue model for the waste management ecosystem and lead to significant incremental benefits over prevailing methods as the desired outcome from the solutions,” it added.