Hyderabad-based plastic recycling start-up, Banyan Nation, which is set out to become a formal player in this largely informal industry through product quality and work-ethic differentiation, has raised US$800,000 in growth funding helped by investment firm KKR Global among other agencies.
After operating a 100 ton a month capacity recycling plant for two years, Banyan Nation promoters have now set up an all new 300 ton capacity plant with automation and backed by a technology platform, using a part of these funds. "Currently we sell the plastic granules to 20 local customers. We are approaching the auto and FMCG companies requesting them to substitute the virgin plastic with our recycled plastic at least in some products to support the cause of environment sustainability," Mani Vajipey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Banyan Nation said on Tuesday.
Bringing plastics recycling business as a viable alternative to virgin plastic to the brands will help the larger cause as the falling cost of virgin plastic was further discouraging the big sectors from using the recycled plastic as a raw material, according to him. KKR has mentored the start-up while Impact Investment Exchange and Shujog, which work with social enterprises like Banyan, have also helped the firm in evolving its business model besides finding an investor.
SaNew York-based Artha Capital has committed the funds to the company. "The consequences of our collective inaction seem negligible now, but over time will be devastating to the environment. We must each do our bit to stem the tide. Banyan, by laying the foundation for a formal recycling system, is doing just that," Jaideep Khanna, co-founder, president and managing partner of Artha Capital said.
Commenting on the start-up's chosen activity, Sanjay Nayar, CEO of KKR India said Banyan's aim in addressing challenges facing India's recycling industry by offering an alternative for household customers, suppliers, workers, processors and buyers is consistent with Prime Minister Modi's Smart Cities effort.