Bengaluru, Dec 15 : Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwatha Narayana on Tuesday appealed to innovators and entrepreneurs to come out with new ideas to encash the Indian waste management industry which is projected to offer a business opportunity of about Rs 1.10 lakh crore ($14 billion) by 2025.
Participating virtually in the event 'Waste Management Innovation Programme Challenge', an initiative by Social Alpha and H&M Foundation with an aim to add the much-needed impetus to accelerate the waste-to-wealth process and to tackle this pressing issue here, Narayana said that innovations such as waste to energy technologies, integration of IoT, applications of robotics, biotechnological interventions, composting units equipped with solar panels and data analytics can realistically help the waste management industry with economically feasible sustainable models.
Pointing out the Karnataka State Urban Solid Waste Management (SWM) Policy 2020 and the Urban Solid Waste Management Strategy 2020, he informed that the Waste Innovations Accelerator, which is a first-of-its-kind programme, will not only enable entrepreneurs to build solutions to tackle the challenge of waste management, but also increase the role of the informal sector in the waste management value chain.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly laid stress on efficient waste management. As the Prime Minister has emphasised, we have to follow the mantra of three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle," he said.
He added that through this challenge, five winners will be selected for the Social Alpha and H&M Waste Innovations Accelerator, supporting the startups in their lab to market journey.
The Deputy CM said that a good waste management example and role model is the Scandinavian country of Sweden. "Late in 2016, the Scandinavian nation was facing a serious issue of garbage disposal. Thanks to an innovative waste-to-energy (WTE) programme, now Sweden is in a position where it is actually importing garbage from other nations and making a profit in the process," he said.
According to him, the need for technological progress in this sector is immediate given that India generates 277.1 million tonnes of waste annually. "Out of this, plastic accounts for nearly 15,000 tonnes, and more than 40 per cent of this remains unrecycled. Waste management is a sector that can benefit immensely from innovative technologies," he said.
Narayana also said that Karnataka has already taken significant steps in this regard and has been at the forefront of tackling waste management challenges.