Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI hosted the 10th edition of the International Indian Material Recycling Conference from 2 - 4 February 2023 at Grand Hyatt Kochi, Bolgatty, Kerala. The biggest-ever meet of global recyclers saw 1800+ Delegates, including 450 Foreign Delegates from 38 countries. The conclave brought forth deeper insights into maximizing the rate of recycling, protecting natural resources, minimizing environmental pollution, creating more employment opportunities, and finding solutions to help India achieve sustainable developments as per the country’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari speaking at the session on ‘Role of Sustainability in India’s Growth Trajectory’ shared: “Today, the recycling industry is one of the most important industries for the country. Availability of materials is very important. Futuristic technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, science, research, successful practices based on sound knowledge, and conversion of knowledge into wealth is the future. The other important philosophy which I always appreciate is conversion of waste into wealth. Regarding the circular economy, I am confident that the recycling of different types of materials by using futuristic good technology available in the world is a success story for the country. The automobile industry is already creating employment potential of 4.5 lakh crores in the country, which is a great thing; our target now is to make this industry 15 lakh crores as we are now at No. 3 position globally.”
He urged the domestic recyclers to collaborate and come up with recycling units across the country. “In the metal sector we have a shortage of copper, aluminium, and steel, and this is the time to encourage recycling of materials by which we can reduce the cost of the finished products. The Government is propagating the Scrappage Policy and has taken the decision to extract scrap from 9 lakh government vehicles; this is a very historical decision for the country. At the same time, we are opening scrapping units across the country. I appeal to automobile manufacturers and corporate giants to come together to set up scrapping units.”
The conference focused on various aspects of materials in India and in international markets like Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, Plastic, E-Waste, Tyres, Batteries, as recycling materials will provide comprehensive industry-driven information to the world.
Speaking at the Plenary Session, Shri. Jyotiraditya Scindia Hon’ble Minister Ministry of Steel, shared, “Today, the material recycling sector is very important because as stakeholders, we are responsible for the next generation. India’s journey to Amritkaal is highly visionary. I am fully committed to the circular economy and the recycling sector of India. About 22% of our steel is produced through recycling, but we also need to involve the informal sector in order to increase the production from scrap. For our commitment to be Net Zero by 2070, we should look at achieving short-term goals by using at least 20% energy efficient tools by 2030. Scrap is a virtuous word that denotes a green economy to sustain Mother Earth in the years to come. It is also important to incentivize the unorganized sector and increase the volume of scrap recycling. We should reduce CO2 emissions by 50% from the current 2.85 to 1.4 CO2/ton of crude steel produced, and to be able to do that scrap is an extremely important source. Today’s 15% of scrap usage will increase to almost 25% in the next 5 years with the Vision of 2047, which means that the percentage of scrap for production of steel should go up to 50% and only 50% should be dependent on iron ore.” He also acknowledged MRAI’s flagship campaign #remadeinindia for creating awareness on India’s SDG’s towards climate action.
“MRAI has been doing commendable work as Knowledge Partner in defining the policy for the upcoming Circular Economy Parks in Maharashtra,” observed Dr. Harshadeep Kamble (IAS), Principal Secretary – Industry & Mines, Maharashtra State Government.
Sanjay Mehta, President, MRAI, informed, “As the world’s second-largest steel producer, India needs to become a responsible steel producer and we therefore need to anticipate incremental usage of scrap in the coming years. MRAI also urges the government to enhance the usage of secondary steel in government infrastructure projects, announce circular economy recycling parks, and appropriate policies for their implementation. From sustainable development and climate change mitigation considerations, it is important that recycling is given a clear focus and strong impetus in the industrial sector. The recycling industry is highly unorganised and is worth about USD50 billion now. There are over 25,000 recycling units in the country.”
The 3-day event saw panel discussions on Plastic Recycling, EPR Policy, BIS Standards, Policy Framework & Technological Advancement in Tyre Recycling etc. The conference was attended by eminent international industry leaders, officials from the Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, NITI AAYOG, Ministry of Electronics, Information & Technology, Ministry of Shipping, Bureau of Indian Standards, and others.