New Delhi: In one day, Bengaluru generates 4,000 tonnes of waste out of which 60 per cent is plastic waste, which ends up blocking the landfills in the city for thousands of years. To make city’s landfills free from all kinds of waste, especially plastic waste, a local NGO of the city ‘Swachha’ has come up with a solution that can convert discarded plastic waste into tiles called ‘Re-Tile’. The unique thing about these tiles is that they are anti-slippery and can be recycled over and over again without it ever landing into the landfill. Talking about the innovation to NDTV, founder of Swachha, Rajesh Babu said,
This is one of its kind initiative, through it we want to bridge the gap in between the collection of waste and society. We want to collect the waste from the society and give it back to them in a way that it benefits them.
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Further explaining the model of Re-Tile, Rajesh added,
What we do is we help the local civic body in waste management by collecting waste from households in the segregated manner. Bengaluru on an average on a daily basis generates some 4,000 tonnes of waste daily, which then comes to 170 decentralized dry/waste collection centres and one waste processing unit in the city. As out of the daily waste production of Bengaluru, most of the amount is plastic, we decided to use that further by making something productive out of it.
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From Plastic Waste To Colourful Re-Tiles
From 15 disposable food containers or 150 polythene bags or 150 disposable spoons or 10-15 cosmetics bottles – one Re-tile is getting produced in Bengaluru. Explaining the uniqueness of these tiles, Swachha founder, Victoria Desouza added,
It is not that no one out there has not made tiles using plastic waste, yes, they have done that. What we have done is that we have gone a step ahead, we have made a 100 per cent recyclable tile, which are made using plastic only, no other natural material like sand or fly ash is added to it, therefore, it can be reused some 100 times and it will never go into the landfill.
Talking about the process, Ms Desouza added,
“We collect plastic waste from the community, then take it into our decentralised collection centres where the waste is segregated and then from there plastic waste which can be further recycled is sent to our waste processing unit. There plastic waste is further segregated into different grades and colours. Once the segregation is sorted, the plastic waste is grinded into smaller pieces and is then is converted it into the colourful Re-Tiles.”
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The Re-tiles are flexible, durable and steady to take heavy load and footfall, moreover have rainwater harvesting capabilities, are water-proof, anti-microbial, chemical and stain-resistant and anti-slippery qualities.
“Currently, the tiles are under its testing process in different parts of the city along with government institutes and offices,” said Ms Desouza.
In Bengaluru’s processing unit one lakh tiles are being produced which will further be used by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to beautify the roads, pavements of the city.
Challenges In The Road Of Innovation
Talking about the difficulties and challenges these innovations face in India, the founders of Swachha added,
Recycling is the way of life and the need of the hour, but in our country it is still not done the way it should be done. We have made this innovation but the challenge is that we don’t have the correct platform or support from the government. There are thousands of things we can do with plastic but we have for now just Re-Tiles that is because we don’t have that much support from the authorities. No one in today’s time want to invest in recycling the low grade plastic because it cost one a lot of money. We want to urge the companies to take the responsibility of the plastic products they are producing, it is only then we as other recyclers can join and help reduce the waste burden from the planet.
Bengaluru has taken a first step in plastic waste management, hopefully, in the coming time it will become a model city that will guide the way forward for plastic management to other cities in India.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.