WPC can contribute to the circular economy.

WPC in India is made up of Virgin and recycled plastic materials, added with waste wood/agri wastes. The motive behind developing the product which can easily and positively contribute to the circular economy of the country. Today when our country is moving forward with positive aggression for infrastructure growth, selection of sustainable materials is a key factor for the industry. Some points are important for the government and construction industry of india, as follows.

1. How is the Infra Construction Industry adapting to the concept of circular economy?

A: Indian infrastructure industry is adopting green building practices under government’s initiative, as well. Construction companies are consciously selecting and using such materials into practice as responsible organisations. Post RERA implementation, use of qualitative products with eco-friendly and reusable/recyclable characteristics are being increased. Increasing use of materials those can be recycled, reused, recreated will lead to saving of natural resources and virgin materials. Use of Glass facades, which can reduce the use of electricity consumption is one major adoption by companies. Use of smart design furniture made with reusable/recyclable materials like WPC, Plastic, Textile etc are sensitively being adopted. All such measures will save natural resources by reducing consumption of conventional materials.

2. The construction industry has been exploring the use of various recycled materials such as C&D waste, fly ash, plastic waste, glass aggregate, old tires, etc. in infrastructure projects. Could you elaborate on the potential benefits and challenges associated with incorporating these recycled materials into construction practices? 

A: If we talk from WPC material’s perspective, as a country we are manufacturing major chunk of Standard WPC Door frames those are from Recycled plastic material with waste wood. These frames can be recycled and reused for making the similar product again. WPC Doors, Windows are also being supplied to the construction projects those are made from recyclable plastic composites. We also supply WPC Panels for furniture and partition making by educating the direct possible applications without any surface preparation. These materials can be surely recycled for 2-3 times for reuse.

We can offer materials with buy back assurance of 25-30% to the project buyer. This will create a ‘CIRCLE’ of getting these materials back to the factories at around ¼ of the resin price. This will drastically decrease the manufacturing cost of the product. Once it will be in regular practice than we can supply WPC products at much effective cost than the prevailing market rates. This will save lot of trees added with reduced consumption of virgin materials. There can be shipping challenges for using of old/waste materials, but they can be systematized with reverse logistic planning.

3. What measures, at the government and industry levels, can be taken to enhance the adoption and utilization of recycled materials for a more sustainable future and support the ‘waste to wealth’ mission?

Both must work hand in hand for policy making and implementation. There should be compulsion for use of recyclable, eco-friendly, reusable materials in construction projects for Private sector and public sector. All government tenders should be mentioned with such materials only. There are some parts missing in the country in case of local technology for recycling and waste material processing, but standardization of building design can help a lot for setting up scalable processing units. E.g., All Door and Window sizes should be standardized across the country for all construction projects. This will help setting up the processing of waste/recycled materials units, effectively and efficiently. We must collaborate with the research organisation from the globe for learning and adoption of technologies for recycle and reuse of Fly Ash, waste wood, Ceramics, Glass, Plastic waste, Rubber tires. We must take it the level where our universities can teach them as full-time curriculums.

Special incentive schemes can be declared for entrepreneurs developing such projects. This will lead a great sustainable future for the country.

Pete Seeger, a folk singer, political activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century quoted, “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”

(As per the talks with Maria Rasheeda, NBM CW, India.)
Hardik Panchal for WPC NEWS, India.