A substantial increase in demand for single use plastic items such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, etc. has been observed since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Across India, more than 200 tons of COVID-19 related waste was generated every day in May 2021. In Pune city alone, about 10-12 tons/day of COVID-19 plastic waste was generated, a majority of which was from PPE suits/overalls/gowns. So far, this hazardous PPE waste is incinerated at central waste management (BMWM) facilities. Incineration is energy-intensive and leads to the release of harmful greenhouse gases.
CSIR-NCL, RIL and other companies embarked on a mission to develop an end-to-end process for effective recycling of COVID-19 plastic waste to produce value-added plastic products ensuring decontamination of COVID-19 plastic waste, focusing on the conversion of the plastic waste suitable for downstream processing and identification of potential stakeholders / markets for creating value for entire supply-chain.