This low-cost portable machine grabs plastic bags.. Image Source: IANS News

Bengaluru, March 2 : A team of students has developed an innovative portable and low-cost machine that efficiently collects discarded plastic bags.

According to recent FICCI estimates, India's per capita plastic consumption which was pegged at 11 kilos per year in 2017 is estimated to rise to 20 kilos per year by 2022, choking landfills, drains and rivers and flows into the seas endangering marine life.

The machine, created by six final-year engineering students from the Sona College of Technology in Salem, Tamil Nadu, is currently undergoing rigorous trials on the streets, within the Municipal limits, of the steel and textiles town.

"The plastic waste collecting device is mounted on a sturdy frame with an infra-red sensor attached to a mobile vacuum chamber. It is capable of sensing plastic on the roads and attract it," project leader TV Kishore Kumar told IANS.

Kumar along with classmates N Javeeth Khan, R Akash, S Lokeshwar, R Dinesh Babu and R Ilavarasan, were inspired to create this device after a call to make India plastic free.

The team integrated a shredder as an add-on accessory. It would shred the collected plastic bags.

This shredded material was then mixed to concrete as replacement for fine aggregates, thus increasing the utility of the machine and adding economic value to the waste so collected.

The machine's add-on shredding accessory can help deploy plastic waste in useful building products like hollow blocks, paver blocks and other non-structural components, Kumar said.

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