MRAI’s premier event to highlight the importance of recycling


9th Indian Material Recycling Conference (IMRC) of Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI), which is one of the foremost events in the recycling industry, is all set to take place at Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Shahdara, Delhi between May 5-7, 2022.

The conference is meticulously planned to focus on various topics and sessions such as Circular Economy – the way forward; End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) the road ahead; Decoding the Secondary Steel market; A Paradigm Shift of BIS in Non-ferrous; Paper Recycling; EPR on Plastic Recycling; E-Waste – time to synergize; etc.

It will discuss the role of recycling commodities and government policy reforms in the Plenary session on recycling, and decarbonization, among others. It will deliberate on challenges and opportunities in the recycling Industry.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest for the 9th IMRC Plenary Session, Dr. Bhagwat Karad, Minister of State of Finance; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Alok Tandon, Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Smt Poonamben Madam, MP, Jamnagar will also address the plenary session on May 7, 2022.

This conference has already received an overwhelming response of 1350 delegates and 45 exhibitors have already confirmed their participation.

MRAI aims to provide a platform where recycling companies/associations can gather to synergize and benefit their trade and industry. 9th IMRC will lead to a fruitful dialogue to help the recycling industry obtain independent Industry status. It will also promote and spread awareness regarding Recycling in India, through networking, and engaging sessions which will provide industry education, updates on research & development, and form industry partnerships.

Apart from these market and research-based discussions, the 9th IMRC will provide a deep insight into current market conditions and register a forecast on how to go ahead.

“Indian government’s policy thrust on the circular economy becomes an important step to acknowledge the power of recycling. With this, we are very confident that ‘Recovery and Reuse of waste will play the key role in India’s growth story at the time when India is moving towards the manufacturing intensive green economy” said Sanjay Mehta, President, MRAI.

In the last 4-5 years, India’s policies have already improved recycling and waste management practices and now the government is in the process of framing up an overarching policy to ensure resource efficiency and a circular economy across all sectors including recycling as well.

India’s Budget for 2022-23 has announced the support for the implementation of action plans in 10 important sectors, including electronic waste and toxic and hazardous industrial waste.

Therefore, we urge the society and manufacturing industry to move away from the ‘take, make dispose of’ mindset to one of improving recycling, promoting reuse, creating a market for recycled materials, and redesigning products with the end of life in mind.

Overall, India needs to enhance the Circular Economy of the recycling sector is an absolute necessity to minimize carbon emissions and negative impact on the environment.

To achieve the Hon’ble PM dream of “Aatmnirbhar Bharat”, sustainable growth is the key. For this India requires a development model where resources are put to maximum utilization. The Government has already notified regulatory norms for some of the sectors like Plastic Waste Management Rules, e-Waste Management Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, Metals Recycling Policy, etc. Besides, EPR provisions have already been put in place for plastics and e-waste.

  • Going forward, stricter regulations and compliance across these sectors along with a few suggestions in the policy framework to be included areas:
  • Government to ensure the criteria for the minimum content of recycled scrap should be a part of the manufacturing process
  • To promote the Circular Economy through recycling, India should allow the import of scrap at zero duty as most countries of the world do.
  • To introduce EPR for Aluminum products as an ideal way to increase the collection of scrap.

Facilitating the formalization of waste and scrap collectors (Kabadiwalas) into a formal sector shall help in improving the tax collection as well as further improving the working conditions in this sector.

Many benefits can be potentially derived by integrating both the formal and informal with both addressing the needs of the value chain simultaneously.

“India’s manufacturing industries work alongside the government to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070. Most companies would be going to the war room and finding ways to immediately, & radically transform themselves – either by replacing their source of energy (if it’s fossil fuel-driven), and or curtailing emissions at every stage of their production processes. In this mission, Recycling industry to be the rock bed of India’s socio-economic & environmental transformation” Dhawal Shah, Sr Vice President, MRAI

Today every government discussion, internal or external – words like sustainability & de-carbonization resonates a lot. So what they call “low carbon” or “green” – we simply call it scrap!! And I say it with even more conviction that our industry is perhaps the biggest and most effective artillery that always has and will continue to help, in combating the perils of global warming.

As being associated with the last 25 years with recycling, I consider this industry to be the rock bed of India’s socio-economic & environmental transformation. The reason I say this is because:

  • 35~40% average contribution to the total output of all non-ferrous metals
  • 25000 small, medium & micro units – over 20 lakh direct/indirect employment
  • It’s a pan-India activity or industry – cutting across every section of society
  • About 30% of the workforce are skilled women, who specialize in scrap metal sorting
  • At a combined average of all non-ferrous metals, we use 1/5~1/8th of energy. There is almost zero waste discharge
  • The carbon footprint is about 5~10%, compared to primary production, through mined resources.

“Future is bright for recyclers as the Recycling industry in India is growing at a CAGR of 8-9 %. The government has worked out a growth plan with the launch of policy reforms such as Vehicle Scrappage Policy, EPR on E-waste, Plastics, Tyres, Batteries, and NITI Aayog has formulated actionable points on Circular Economy. The time is right and fertile to invest in the Indian recycling industry. Those who will miss this occasion will lose their first-mover advantage” Amar Singh, Secretary-General, MRAI

In the next 10 years, MRAI envisions developing its technical wing to share its expertise on the matters of government, policies, representations, and suggestions, all of this while building a verified data pool among others. These developments will be managed and governed by setting up dedicated committees that will work towards achieving the said target. This will help charge MRAI and its members to work for the betterment of the recycling industry more constructively.

Secondary steel manufacturers are playing a vital role in making India Atmanirbhar in the steel sector. The secondary steel industry uses environmentally friendly raw materials such as recycled ferrous scrap and will be a key driver in assisting the Government of India in achieving the objectives and targets set out in the “Vision 2047” document- a blueprint for the next 25 years. Zain Nathani, Director, MRAI

Members of MRAI include recyclers and secondary steel manufacturers and the industry will ensure that the country’s infrastructure demands and steel requirements are catered to from within India itself.

With the guidance and continued support of the Ministry of Steel, the metal recycling and secondary steel sectors will play a vital role in fulfilling the targets of 300 Million MT of steel production by 2030.

Talking about opportunities and challenges in the recycling of EV Batteries in India Mr. ALN Rao, Director, MRAI & CEO of Exigo Recycling Pvt. Ltd. said “The potential for recovering critical metals and minerals like cobalt, lithium, nickel, and manganese from used and discarded Li-ion batteries are going to play a significant role to make India self-sustainable in LIB sector”.

According to Commodore Sujeet Samaddar, NM (Retd), Former Senior Consultant (Industry), NITI Aayog & Advisor, MRAI said, “ELV recycling could generate 9MMT, 2.2 MMT of Ferrous & Aluminium scrap by 2030. It would be an epic disaster if this requirement is met from primary sources.”

Further Mr. Ulhas Parlikar, the Director, quoted “The processing of the plastic waste can be done with the support of advanced technology on a common scale, and then the same is made available to these small industries to produce granules that meet the desired virgin quality standard”.

In the last few years, the emphasis has been to rethink policies in terms of material resource efficiency.

“Circular economy keeps resources such as products, materials, and energy in the economic system for as long as possible and at the highest value possible,” said Prabhjot Sodhi, Director, MRAI.

While highlighting the e-waste industry – time to synergize,

ALN Rao, Director, MRAI said that “Electronic and Electrical waste, collection and management ofwhich remains a key challenge, is one of the rich sources of secondary raw materials and can contribute towards resource security and environmental sustainability for India”