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DPIIT invites startups to showcase solutions to weed out single use plastic

The bottled water industry and single-use plastic pollution have become a major concern for mankind. As a result, governments across the world, including India, have been trying their hard to replace all single-use plastic with eco-friendly and biodegradable alternatives.

In another attempt to weed out single-use plastic completely, the government has now come up with ‘Single-Use Plastic International Grand Challenge’ for startups. Starting from 1st October and valid until 22nd October, the purpose of the challenge is to reward startups and individuals to develop design solutions. 

The solutions must be imbibed with the same functionality, keeping the current production methods in mind.

The challenge is open to all startups, and the product should at least in any of the following stages: minimum viable product, proof of concept or a deployed solution which requires further scaling up, cited DPIIT.

Government, under Startup India, will prefer firms that have built a product across any of the identified areas such as retail, advertising, e-commerce, logistics, transportation, storage and others.

The results for the same will be announced on 31st October and the first and second position holders would be awarded a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively.

This development has come at the same time when the industry ministry had recently asked e-commerce companies, which contribute to about 40% of India’s annual plastic consumption, to stop using plastic in packaging products and develop a sustainable packaging material.

In this context, Flipkart had released a statement, last month to have reduced single-use plastic usage by 25% till August. Amazon claimed that it’s committed to eliminating single-use plastics from its packaging by June 2020.

Meanwhile, Zomato also said it was constantly working towards providing bio-degradable tamper-proof packaging.

Earlier, on World Environment Day 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to phase out single-use plastics by 2022. Even in his Independence Day speech this year, he had appealed to say no to single-use plastic, which gave a much-needed impetus to bring this change.

In the present scenario where around 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day (TPD) is generated in India, will the government be able to achieve its plans to do away with single-use plastic by 2022?

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