Startup by 2 Friends Has Turned Plastic Waste Into 300 Million FMCG Bottles

banyan nation

Meet Mani Vajipey and Raj Madangopal, who quit their lucrative careers to solve India's massive non-recycled plastic waste problem. With their startup, Banyan Nation, they have recycled over one lakh tonnes of plastic waste, so far, into 300 million FMCG bottles.

While pursuing his MBA and working at a multinational company, Mani Vajipey took a trip to India. He was astonished by the amount of waste generated in the country and disturbed by the growing filth on the streets and roads.

So, Mani decided to look into India’s massive non-recycled plastic waste problem. He talked to multinationals, waste management contractors, scrap collectors, rag pickers, and kabadiwalas (scrap dealers).

His friend, Raj Madangopal, soon joined him on this mission, and together, they came to the realisation that the key to all the problems was nothing but effective recycling.

So, in 2013, they left their lucrative careers and co-founded ‘Banyan Nation’, a Hyderabad-based vertically integrated plastic recycling company.

Banyan Nation has designed a unique system that allows them to collect plastic waste in vast quantities and produce premium-quality recycled polyolefin plastics. This is used in quality packaging applications — such as shampoo, detergent, and lotion bottles.

With a capacity to process 1,000–1,200 tonnes of plastic waste per month, they have recycled over one lakh tonnes of plastic so far. They have also produced over 300 million FMCG bottles from recycled plastic for major clients like Hindustan Unilever, Shell, HPCL, and Reckitt.

“India produces and consumes five lakh tonnes of shampoo bottles and lotions every year. Currently, we are recycling about 10,000 tonnes per annum. So really, it is a drop in the ocean if you ask me, and there’s a long way to go,” says Mani.

Banyan Nation’s recycled plastic meets the US and European Union’s packaging and plastic safety standards. They have signed MoUs with the Telangana Government to make recycling prevalent in the state.

To know more, watch this video:

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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