European Union Plastic Industry delegation visits India

During April 2022, BVMW-India hosted a delegation of plastic industry from four EU nations: Denmark, France, Germany and Slovakia

During April 2022, BVMW-India hosted a delegation of plastic industry from four EU nations. The International Cluster Cooperation for Recycling of Polymers (nicknamed – PERCY) which is co-funded by COSME (programme for competitiveness of SMEs) program of European Union. Four participating clusters were DMN/PCD of Denmark, Polymeris of France, SPK of Slovakia, and WFG of Germany. Alexander Wonner of BVMW-Heilbronn played an instrumental role in getting this delegation visit awarded to BVMW-India in the face of competition.

In various meetings during February and March, the plan was charted in detail to visit Pune, Mumbai and New Delhi within a span of one week. The delegates arrived a day in advance to get themselves acclimatized to Indian summer with close to 37degree temperatures. They also worked hard on the Sunday before the visits understanding intercultural intricacies of doing business/negotiations in India, and giving final touches to their own presentations.

On Monday in Pune we visited the Auto Cluster, PCPA (Pune-based Plastic Association) and three plastic companies including one scrap recycler. The Auto Cluster was established in 2006 and has 2000 SMEs in and around Pune as its members/beneficiaries. PCPA was established in 1995 and is represented by about 500 plastic industry entrepreneurs.

We also visited Argee Plastics and Pradip Laminators two fast growing plastic manufacturing SMEs with the ambitions to grow internationally. The day was concluded to a visit to an industrial plastic waste recycling facility.

The second day in Pune started with a visit to MIT-World Peace University which conducts courses in Polymer Engineering. An interaction with the faculty and students about innovation and R&D was insightful. The afternoon was spent in visiting plastic recycling start-ups and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations). It was an eye-opener to see how many young people are giving up their corporate careers to work on circularity and sustainability. They are working with common people, Corporates, local and state governments in order to increase awareness and providing solutions in collection and logistics of plastic waste.

The next morning, we travelled to Mumbai and visited a company – AP Chemi – engaged in pyrolysis – making fuel from plastic waste. This company run by technocrats hold 12 patents in pyrolysis technology and is tied up with Indian and international companies and organisations.

The rest of the day was spent at AIPMA (All-India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association) – formed in 1945 and having 1800 direct members and 22000 affiliated SMEs from 175 Indian cities and towns. We had long discussions with them about possibilities of cooperation. It has been decided to undertake a networking event between PERCY and AIPMA whose 300 members are expected to visit the K-Show in Düsseldorf in October 2022. We also visited AMTEC – AIPMA’s Technology, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development centre.

On the morning of the 2nd day in Mumbai, we visited a waste collection and sorting facility. It is run by an NGO – Aasra – which shelters the ragpickers. But with the involvement of Mumbai’s Municipal Corporation, UNDP (United Nations Development Programe) and Unilever, it is being run in a humane and sustainable manner. In the final lap in Mumbai, we visited MRAI (Material Recycling Association of India) which was formed in 2011 and has 1200 members in recycling of all types of materials.

In the meantime, PERCY had signed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Auto Cluster, Pune’s Plastic Association, IPI (Indian Plastics Institute), AIPMA and MRAI. It is expected that the MoU’s will provide a good basis for a long-term cooperation.

Many members of the Danish cluster had shown keen interest in entering Indian market. Hence the next visit was planned to the Royal Danish Embassy in New Delhi. We were hosted by the Innovation Centre and the Commercial Wing of the Embassy. We discussed about the support Danish Embassy will provide to the Danish companies entering India. The Innovation Centre staff took us to IIT-New Delhi’s (Indian Institute of Technology) DRIIV (Delhi Research Implementation and Innovation). It is a leading research organization from New Delhi working on skills development and sustainability. The next meeting was with the SME cluster of Delhi MSMECCII with whom PERCY signed another MoU. MSMECCII is more focused on plastic industry related conferences, events, seminars etc. As last part of the delegation activities, we visited India’s largest flexible packaging company – UFLEX’s – multilayer packaging recycling facility.

 

Authors: Manoj Barve and Daniel Raja, Representatives of BVMW for India