India, Oct. 11 -- India generates at least 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste daily, equivalent to the weight of around 4,300 elephants. Of this, about 60% gets recycled, according to the Union environment ministry. The rest gets dumped in landfills, clogs drains, goes into the ocean as micro-plastics, or is burnt, leading to air pollution.

In the absence of a proper waste management system, the plastics that get recycled are often dirty, which makes the re-cycling process water-intensive and expensive.

"It is the process of cleaning the plastics before recycling that makes it resource intensive. A lot of water is required to wash the collected plastics, especially if it is oily or greasy as it has to be cleaned with a solvent," said Dr Sun...