IT Collaborates with Invest India to Crowdsource Innovative Ideas for Single-Use Plastic Substitution and Automate Waste Segregation


Mumbai: ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD), a leading manufacturer of paper, paperboards and speciality paper in the country, has collaborated with Invest India to launch the ICC Sustainability Innovation Challenge’, which would support innovative start-up ideas on sustainable packaging and smart waste management solutions. This win-win partnership will enable ITC-PSPD to leverage India’s rich start-up repertoire whilst also providing support to the country’s start-up ecosystem.

ITC PSPD, through the Startup India portal, is inviting responses from startups towards challenges laid out by the Company to find sustainable and smart technology-based solutions that can substitute single-use plastics and automate the waste segregation process with smart technology-based solutions to improve efficiency and speed.

The startups selected for the ‘ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge’willbe offered incentives at various stages of the programme. This includes mentorship from experts, paid pilot opportunities, and assistance in testing and certification at the ’Development Stage’. This will be followed by support to enable market expansion and capacity building through funding opportunities in the ’Early Market Play Stage’. Additionally, startups, at the ‘Late Stage’will get procurement opportunities and could be evaluated, on a case-to-case basis, for funding and acquisition opportunities as well. The deadline to submit proof of concept is February 28, 2021.

Commenting on the initiative, Vadiraj Kulkarni, CEO of ITC PSPD said, “Disposal of plastic and non-biodegradable waste continues to pose the biggest challenge in solid waste management in India. The problem is further aggravated due to inefficient segregation of post-consumer waste at the source which leads to a lot of waste ending up in landfills which is highly polluting. We, at ITC, believe that businesses, both big and small, with their immense managerial and innovative capacity, can come together to contribute significantly towards finding innovative and sustainable packaging and waste management solutions leading to transformative changes in society. This philosophy manifests in the new ‘ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge’ which underlines our ongoing engagements with the start-up ecosystem through collaboration with Invest India to crowdsource out-of-the-box ideas for phasing out single-use plastics by 2022.”

Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India, said: “We look forward to accelerating efforts towards a more sustainable economic growth through the ITC Innovative Sustainability Challenge. Innovative startups will be able to showcase Made-in-India solutions that propel India towards a circular economy. On behalf of Invest India, I invite start-ups to be part of India’s growth journey.” 

For sustainable packaging, ITC is inviting ideas to replace plastic-based products with compostable food delivery solutions using moulded fibre packaging based on wood fibre, agri-waste, etc. Besides, the ‘Sustainability Innovation Challenge’ with Start-up India is also inviting solutions under recyclable and/or compostable barrier coatings for the papers and paperboards category.

For the challenge of waste segregation, collection, and handling, ITC PSPD is inviting innovative and technology-based solutions for managing the household and municipality waste based on different material types such as paper, metal, glass, rigid plastic. The ideas must include an effective revenue model for the waste management ecosystem and lead to significant incremental benefits over prevailing methods as the desired outcome from the solutions.