ITC Ltd, a diversified company, said that it has teamed up with Invest India, a non-profit organisation set up by the government to promote and facilitate national investment, to crowdsource innovative ideas for single-use plastic replacement and waste automation.
The ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge, which will encourage new startup ideas on sustainable packaging and smart waste management solutions, was launched as part of the partnership, according to a release from ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD).
ITC PSPD is seeking responses from startups through the Startup India portal in response to challenges posed by the company to find sustainable and smart technology-based solutions that can replace single-use plastics and automate waste segregation processes with smart technology-based solutions to improve efficiency and speed.
According to ITC PSPD CEO Vadiraj Kulkarni, the disposal of plastic and non-biodegradable trash remains to be India's most difficult solid waste management concern. The problem is exacerbated by inadequate post-consumer waste segregation at the source, which results in a large amount of waste ending up in polluted landfills.
"At ITC, we think that enterprises of all sizes, with their enormous managerial and innovative capacity, can work together to create new and sustainable packaging and waste management solutions, resulting in dramatic changes in society," Kulkarni added.
Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, stated, "Through the ITC Innovative Sustainability Challenge, we hope to accelerate efforts toward more sustainable economic growth. Innovative entrepreneurs will be able to present Made-in-India solutions that will help India transition to a circular economy ".
ITC stated it is looking for ideas to replace plastic-based products with compostable food delivery solutions, such as moulded fibre packaging made from wood fibre, agri-waste, and so on, for sustainable packaging. It's also on the lookout for solutions in the domain of recyclable and/or compostable barrier coatings for papers and paperboards.
When it comes to trash segregation, collection, and management, the focus is on innovative and technology-based solutions for managing home and municipal waste made up of various materials such as paper, metal, glass, and rigid plastic.
"As a desirable outcome from the proposals, the concepts must incorporate an effective business model for the waste management ecosystem and lead to considerable incremental benefits above existing techniques," it stated.