This Gujarat-based start-up turns packaging plastic into benches, panels and more7 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
What can you do with the packaging plastic coming out of your home?
Well, give it to Ricron Panels to get it converted to a roof for your home.
This start-up tackles 80,000 tons of plastic waste.
Let’s know more about it, shall we?
What do you think is your first encounter with plastic in the morning? If you brush your teeth, first thing in the morning, (which we hope you do!), it will probably be the tube of your toothpaste. There is plastic everywhere around you. Even your favourite packaged food comes in plastic! And this plastic is not regular but the difficult-to-handle MLP or multi-layered plastic.
MLP is any packaging material that has at least one layer of plastic
and additional layers of paper, paper board, polymeric materials,
metalised layers or aluminium etc.
MLP is much harder to dispose off than single-use-plastic, and as such it often ends up in landfills. It releases toxins in the air and harms the environment.
Around 45% of plastic pollution comes from packaging material, right from our favourite ice-creams to our ever-in-demand pens.
So, what can we do?
Owliver has already brought to you a long list of crusaders against plastic.
And joining the ranks is a 2014 start-up based out of Gujarat—Ricron Panels. This tech startup is solving the problem by recycling MLPs into benches, panels, roofs and more.
At present, the company recycles 500 tons of MLPs everyday!
Rahul Chaudhary, the founder of Ricron Panels, wanted to address this pressing environmental issue. A blanket ban on MLPs was not an option for the loss it would cause to the industry and economy. But there is always recycling!
The problem with MLPs products is that it receives very low value, which explains why it is such a favourite for packaging needs, ballparking around 1.5-2/- per kilogram.
Ballpark is a range within which an amount or estimate is expected to be correct.
Ricron Panels tackled the problem by converting MLPs into recycled boards. It serves a dual purpose. One, it tackles the problem of plastic. Two, it also helps forests by offering an alternative to plywood.
What makes the panels special?
The plastic packaging material is sourced from various places, segregated into categories, and cleaned and processed. The company found a way to ensure that the properties of plastic remain intact while disavowing the damage it inflicts on the environment. The material thus created is fire retardant, water-proof, termite-proof, rust proof, and heat-resistant.
The company gets an increasing demand for roof sheets. Conventional sheets made of tin or plastic last anywhere between six to eight years but sheets made at Ricron last for double the time!
Using Ricron products to build a home is also cost-effective not only for the environment but also for the buyer. A 2,500 sqauer foot house can be made in INR 3.2 lakhs with recycled sheets. Now, that’s a deal even the trees will sway to!
The company also has a buy-back policy where customers can sell the sheets they bought back to the company at 30% of the invoice value.
An invoice is a statement of goods or services provided, with a mention of the amount due for the same.
The product created is 100% recycled. The company has also obtained obtained zero discharge certification from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It has also received the Green Pro Certification Award from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2019, and the Climate Solver Award by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India for its innovative technological solutions to combat plastic waste. Ricron Panels has big plans for its future:
The next time you brush, think about this— Your tube could make for a roof someday!
Science has its own magic. Are you beginning to believe?
(The Buzz is a fortnightly column that explores bright ideas that became reality)