1. Anish Malpani Anish, a 33-year-old finance professional heads ‘Without’, a brand that is making “the world’s first sunglasses from chips packets”. The raw material is MLPs (Multi Layered Plastic) which are one of the most common but least recycled.

Anish says over 265 kg of plastic has been recycled to date.

2. Ruhani Verma ‘Swacch-Aalay’: India’s first sustainable toilet is a carbon-negative structure conceptualised by Ruhani Verma, an 18-year-old student at Jayshree Periwal International School, Jaipur.

The installation at Amritsar’s international airport parking lot is made with “around 1,000 flat planks and 150 Lego-style bricks made out of about four lakhs single-use plastic bags”.

3. Lisbon Ferrao When Lisbon, a marketing professional from Mumbai, saw his kids play with plastic at the beach, he realised he wanted them to have a better childhood.

His initiative ‘Vasai Beach Cleaners’, which has had over 12,000 volunteers to date, aims to make beaches a cleaner space, while using the plastic collected to make paver blocks to patch potholes.

4. Sourabh Kumar The director of PotHoleRaja — a social enterprise on a mission to fix roads in India — explains how their unique technology has been adopted in Bengaluru to build an innovative pothole-free road using 3,000 kg of recycled plastic.

The factory utilises recycled plastic pellets to make GridMats — a honeycomb structure designed from recycled polypropylene waste — that then goes into the construction of roads.

5. Priyanka Tiwari As the sarpanch of Rajpur Gram Panchayat in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka wanted to bring changes in issues such as improper waste management, damaged drains, and a lack of crematoriums.

She did this by distributing cloth bags to shopkeepers, imposing fines for plastic bags, giving children an incentive of Rs 2 per kg of plastic wrappers collected, and converting this plastic into granules for road tarring.

6. Dr Medha Tadpatrikar & Shirish Phadtare Pune-based environmentalists Dr Medha Tadpatrikar and Shirish Phadtare developed the Thermolytic Deep Polymerization Process, wherein shredded plastic is converted into fuel which can be used in cooking stoves and generators.

The gas generated is used to heat the reactor, while the carbon black is passed on to municipal corporations to build bitumen roads.

7. Kunti Oza, Hansu Pardiwala & Chitra Hiremath The Milk Bag Project started in 2019 collects and recycles used plastic milk bags to prevent them from entering landfills. They have collected over 7.5 lakh milk packets.

At the recycling units, the vendors wash and dry the packets and then cut them up into small pieces, which are converted into granules in a machine and turned into garbage bags.

8. Ashay Bhave Observing the plastic waste situation, Ashay designed a leather-like fabric from plastic waste, from which he made a prototype leather sneaker.

His brand ‘Thaely’ collects plastic bags which are then cut into sheets and fused with heat and pressure. The brand recycles 10 plastic bags and 15 plastic bottles to make one pair of shoes and has upcycled more than 50,000 plastic carry bags and 48,000 discarded plastic bottles to date.