Mayank Mahapatra

CIPET Bhubaneswar & Partners Host a Round Table to Deliberate on ‘Green Economy with Green Plastics’

Plastic, which has become an integral part of our life & businesses today, has posed significant threat to the human society & the environment. However, with a clear understanding on the subject & commitment towards our future generation this is right time to innovate & adapt new technologies upon how this substance can be used sustainably.

Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Bhubaneswar, in collaboration with CarbonOut and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), hosted a Roundtable titled “Green Economy with Green Plastics”, recently. The event held at IPT Conference Hall, CIPET: SARP – LARPM, Bhubaneswar, brought together experts and stakeholders from various fields to discuss the pressing need for sustainable practices in plastic usage and the transition towards a green economy.

Dr. Smita Mohanty, Director & Head, Principal Scientist, CIPET, Bhubaneswar, Mr. Bimal Das, Former Superintending Engineer, Govt. of Odisha, Mr. Dillip Kumar Dash, Senior Environmental Engineer, Odisha State Pollution Control Board & Mr. Pradipta Panigrahi, Founder & Director, Carbonout, discussed elaborately under the subject.  A few startups working in the field presented their story highlighting various products made of plastic, promoting sustainability.

“We aim to establish a matrix system that transforms Plastics into Green Plastics. Our objective is to develop a solution & approach for converting plastic into green variants that can seamlessly integrate into the environment. Central to this initiative is the creation of an ecosystem for the responsible disposal of green plastics, minimizing their impact on the environment. This endeavour necessitates a shift in citizen habits, raising awareness about the decomposing process of green plastics and promoting sustainable disposal practices,” said Dr Smita Mohanty, Director Principal Scientist, CIPET Bhubaneswar at the roundtable.

“Although the detrimental impacts of plastic are widely recognized, its usage persists despite efforts to curb it. It’s crucial to acknowledge that all environmental issues, including climate change, are interconnected by carbon emissions. By the year 2070, it is imperative to cease the use of fossil fuels and drastically reduce carbon emissions,” narrates Mr. Dillip Kumar Dash, Senior Environmental Engineer, Odisha State Pollution Control Board.

“One significant step towards a sustainable future involves minimizing the usage of single-use plastics. Embracing a healthier lifestyle necessitates spreading awareness about the adverse effects of carbon emissions on the environment,” adds Mr. Dash.

Everyone present during the roundtable took the Mission LiFE pledge

In an era of escalating environmental concerns, the concept of a green economy is gaining traction as a pathway towards a more sustainable future. At the forefront of this movement lies the importance to revolutionize the plastics industry, a sector notorious for its detrimental impact on ecosystems and public health. However, within this challenge lies an opportunity – the advent of green plastics.

“Polluting oceans & water bodies with plastic has devastating effects on the ecosystem. However, recognizing our dependence on plastic, we should consider transforming it into eco-friendly alternatives, such as Green Plastic,” says Mr. Bimal Dash, Infrastructure Consultant.

While highlighting alternative solutions to the challenges Mr. Dash adds, “One innovative approach is utilizing plastic in the production of bricks, replacing traditional materials like Fly Ash Bricks, which are widely adopted worldwide. By incorporating Polymer Modified Bitumen, these geo synthetics can offer durability and require less maintenance, presenting a sustainable solution for construction purposes.”

“We can’t escape from plastic as the way we are using it. No conclusion is still here for this problem. Let’s ask everyone to make plastic fit into our environment,” narrates Manonjaya Rath, Principal Architect, Rath Architectonic.

The adoption of green plastics also aligns with the principles of a circular economy, where resources are used more efficiently, and waste is transformed into wealth through recycling and reuse. With advancements in technology, bioplastics can now be designed to be compatible with existing recycling infrastructure, offering the potential for closed loop systems that promote circularity and reduce reliance on finite resources.

“As a Plastipreneur, launching a startup is merely the starting point. Our aim should be to create something that positively impacts every facet of life. As Odisha moves towards its centenary in 2036, it’s crucial for the citizens to actively contribute in enhancing the environment of our state on a daily basis,” highlights Pradipta Panigrahi, Founder & CEO, CarbonOut Techcom Pvt. Ltd.

While interacting with OdishaPlus the Founder & CEO, CarbounOut which was the partner highlights, “CarbonOut, a startup from Odisha incubated at CTEF: INNOVEX, is committed towards revolutionizing the application of waste plastics integrated with electronic solutions. The product ‘PAVER 360’, powered with lnternet of Things (IoT) solutions, is aimed to revolutionize the infrastructure sector. It is designed to minimize carbon footprint & help conserve energy while offering smart services in the modern era.”

“Plastic plays a significant role in discussions surrounding the Green Economy and Climate Change. Various types of plastics exist, each with different properties regarding recyclability and biodegradability,” says Manoj Kar, Director, SJ Emperean Properties LLP.

The roundtable was attended by a diverse audience, including technologists, researchers, architects, builders, environmental experts, government stakeholders, startups and media. Participants engaged in insightful discussions and exchanged ideas to promote plastic for a greener and sustainable future.