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Scrapping Wealth From Waste

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by - 12/10/2015 3789 Views

The Green Business

Are you confused to sort out the waste problem and need ground breaking ideas on how to deal with it? Are you looking to make money as well? There’s a huge amount of waste being generated in every nook & corner of the earth on a daily basis from household wastes to industrial wastes, medical wastes and chemical wastes. These landfills could take thousands of years to decompose even after they have been buried, thereby paving the way for environmental degradation and global warming. Waste management is not a business that most people would readily go into because of the filth involved and that is why it continues to be a huge money maker for very few people.  More and more companies are making wealth from waste and, in the process, saving the environment from devastation. Let us look at two of these green businesses in India.  

FABRIC FROM PLASTIC

I would strongly say not to chuck out those after use plastic bottles that have been piling up in your kitchen for days. They can be re-used to make polyester fabric. Rupinder Singh Arora, The Chairman of Arora Fibres Ltd, has been recycling plastic scrap into polyester staple fibre since 1994 after he saw the colossal damage to the environment from mountains of bio-degradable plastic being burned in the country.

Apart from a commercial interest, converting PET into polyester has a huge positive impact on the environment," says Arora. He brought this technology to India after tying up with Korean company Mijung, which specialised in converting PET bottles into polyester yarn. His factory in the industrial belt of Silvassa in Dadra & Nagar Haveli has the capacity to process 18,000 tonnes of plastic a year and he plans to increase that to 48,000 tonnes. Arora says the environmental benefit of recycling discarded PET plastic scrap is enormous. "By recycling 10 billion PET bottles, one can save one million square yards of landfill space and eliminate 0.25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And recycling one kg of PET saves around 25,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units)," he says. Recycling PET plastic scrap has clearly been profitable for Arora Fibres. It tapped the primary market in 1994 to raise Rs 9.6 crore to set up the Silvassa plant and logged Rs 34 crore in revenues in the financial year that ended March 2013. It hopes to touch Rs 75 crore this year. The polyester fibre has a huge market in many industries such as automobiles and is also used as packaging material for beverages, food products, pharmaceuticals, and consumer and industrial products.

But the plastic scrap business has had its roller coaster rides. Although there are other players who convert nearly 3 lakh tonnes of PET bottles into polyester fibre each year, the industry depends on rag pickers for raw material. Arora says the industry was also hit by an increase in raw material prices and a fall in finished product prices. "The shortage of raw material and the power problems until 2010 in Silvassa have been the reasons why others overtook us in the business," he says. Despite competition and profitability getting squeezed, net margins remain healthy at 10 per cent.

CLEANING E-WASTELAND

Two decades ago, putting away an old toaster or much-used iron box was unthinkable in India. Today, people don't think twice before swapping old computers and mobile phones almost every 6 months. So, where do these old gadgets and gizmos end up? They end up as e-waste.

A Bangalore-based infotech company, Cerebra Integrated Technologies, is doing its bit to reduce the mounting up of e-waste scrap, which according to environmentalists, is potentially ‘the most’ dangerous waste problem in the world. In order counter this menace, CIT is building India's largest e-waste recycling plant that will begin operations soon. The plant will have the capacity to process close to 90,000 tonnes of e-waste. "We wanted to find a solution to dispose of the e-waste left after the repair and refurbishing process was completed, and realised there were only one or two medium-sized players in this business," says Gururaja Upadhya, Co-founder and Director-Technical at Cerebra Integrated Technologies.

But e-waste scrap is also a treasure hunt of precious and other metals. Cerebra envision a big business in the mountains of e-waste in Bangalore which produces 200,000 tonnes of e-waste a year. The company plans to make its millions by extracting metals such as gold and platinum from the e-waste piling up in the city. A mobile phone, for example, is made up of a combination of rare earth and precious metals: it contains 250 mg of silver, 24 mg of gold and nine mg of palladium while a laptop has 1,000 mg of silver, 220 mg of gold and 500 grams of copper.

"The recycling business will bring in the maximum revenues for the group. In the next three to five years, we expect the business to be in excess of Rs 500 crore," says Upadhya. He says, "More than 50 per cent of the company's revenue and profit would come out of our e-waste business."

Category : General

Tags : Plastic Scrap, Plastic Scrap Fibre, E-Waste Scrap, E-Waste Scrap Business, PET Scrap Trend, PET Scrap Market


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About Georgy Abraham

As the bright morning of 28th May dawned in the year 1972, in the fulfillment of time according to the plan & will of Almighty Godbrought me forth into this world and I was brought up & educated in Orissa. My parents provided me with the best of education in an English medium school with high standa .... more info

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