Do you ever worry that the mineral water bottle you just discarded will be picked up and used to package unclean water again? Now there is a machine to crush the bottle at source and convert it into flakes that can be recycled.
Tourists visiting the Elephanta caves in Maharashtra don’t have to look around for waste bins in which to discard their empty mineral water bottles. Neither do people working on many IT campuses around the country. All they need to do is insert their bottles in conveniently located machines and walk on.
Thanks to BioCrux, a compact, automatic and noiseless machine, all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are crushed into chips and pellets first, and then into recyclable flakes.
“We wanted to create a sustainable solution to make it possible for common people like us to participate in environment conservation activities. With BioCrux, we can ensure that the waste accumulated because of PET bottles is taken care of at the source of generation itself, and the chances of it ending up in landfills are reduced,” says Ajay Mishra, the founder of BioCrux India Private Limited.
Biocrux would like to make places like company and college campuses, residential buildings, commercial complexes, etc., completely PET-neutral.
This means no PET bottles should leave these places unless they are going to be recycled. Every time someone drops a bottle inside the refrigerator-sized machine, BioCrux senses it and starts working automatically. The flakes are stored in a bin that can accumulate up to 500 bottles or 10 kg of flakes. BioCrux can crunch 300 bottles in an hour and accept 200 to 2,000 ml bottles. The machine weighs 375 kg and is available in different phase connections, like 440 watts and 220 watts.
Once the bottles are crushed, the flakes are sent to another organization that recycles the output.
“The flakes are converted to resin, which is then reused to make objects like dustbins, plastic manhole covers, bio-toilet doors, polyester fibre, etc. And because we crush the bottles at the source itself, there is no chance of the flakes being contaminated. The problem of segregating PET bottles from the rest of the garbage is also avoided. This improves the quality of the output and increases the chances of the flakes being reused for something better,” he adds.
Ajay, a 34-year-old charted accountant, worked for 12 years with different companies before quitting his job to start BioCrux. He teamed up with two other equally committed people and they started working with another fabrication firm for the final development of BioCrux. One machine costs Rs. 2 lakh. BioCrux is currently installed in 15 locations in four cities across the country.
These include four Infosys campuses, a TCS campus in Pune, Taj Hotel in Mumbai, Elephanta Caves, etc.
The trio is also working with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation to create more PET-neutral tourist spots in the state. “Hotels, resorts, malls, multiplexes, colleges, residential and commercial properties, clubs, and other public places – all these have a high rate of PET bottle waste generation. Our aim is to make such places across the country PET-neutral so there is no chance of this reusable waste reaching the landfills, lying there for ages, and ultimately harming the environment,” says Ajay.
“Biocrux solves the problem of how to reuse or where to throw the bottles immediately. The problem of litter on the streets and at tourist destinations is also tackled,” he adds.
The team is now working on selecting some of the largest contributors of PET bottle waste and convincing them to move towards PET-neutral solutions. This list includes hospitals, railway stations, and airports as well.
According to reports, almost 50 kg of PET waste and nearly 2,500 plastic bottles are generated every day at Elephanta Caves. Worldwide, approximately 7.5 million tons of PET bottles were collected in 2011, which led to 5.9 million tons of flakes. With BioCrux, India has the opportunity to work towards environment-friendly solutions that are easy to implement.
The 15 locations where the machine is installed right now include the following:
1. Mumbai: Inorbit Mall – Malad, Taj Land End, Taj Vivanta, Jan Vikas society (NGO), Zee Studio – Virar, Elephanta Caves
2. Pune: Infosys Campus phase I & II – Hinjewadi, TCS campus – Hinjewadi, Sayaji Hotel
3. Bangalore: Infosys Campus – Electronic City, Taj West End – Race course, Taj Vivanta – MG Road
4. Mysore: Infosys campus – Mysore
5. Jaipur: Zee Studio – Sitapur MIDC
You can Ajay by writing to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.