Large bundles of plastic bags, cans and milk containers await processing at a recycling center.

Programme nominated for the Excellence in Sustainability Steelie Award 2023

According to reports (UNIDO Report – Recycling of Plastics in Indian perspective by Dr. Smita Mohanty and, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has estimated that India generates approximately 9.4 million tonnes per annum of plastic waste, (which amounts to 26,000 tonnes of waste per day), and out of this approximately 5.6 million tonnes per annum of plastic waste are recycled (i.e. 15,600 tonnes of waste per day). 3.8 million tonnes per annum of plastic waste is left uncollected or littered (9,400 tonnes of waste per day), which possibly ends up in landfills. This renders the energy in plastic waste useless whilst causing significant soil and water pollution.

We successfully demonstrated the injection of waste plastic in a blast furnace through a lance setup in the tuyere. We are the first in India to have done this successfully. Our team at JSW Steel utilised mixed grade waste plastic in the form of 3 to 5 mm granules with and without PCI. The plastic was injected using a coaxial lance set up in one of the 36 tuyeres in blast furnace 3 at our Vijayanagar facililty.

This comes after multiple trials conducted over the past year using various types of plastics, injection setups and feeding mechanisms. The team leveraged their previous learnings to make active adjustments to the set up and make this trial successful. As we move forward, we are actively engaging with local municipal corporations and waste plastic vendors. Through these collaborations, we aim to establish a reliable and sustainable source of plastic for injection. We remain committed to scaling up our plastic injection rate to higher levels, further reducing our carbon footprint.

As a result of the project trials and the development work at our Vijayanagar facility, the following benefits are estimated to be achieved:

  1. Usage of 5 kg/thm of waste plastics resulting in about 50,000 tonnes of waste plastics being avoided in landfills in the current production scenario and ramping it up to 50 kg/thm subsequently post successful injections.
  2. The avoidance of equivalent tonnage of coke in blast furnace resulting in avoidance of ~14,000 tonnes of CO2 and ultimately to 140,000 tonnes of CO2 avoidance at 50 kg/thm plastic injections.
  3. Creation of 9 new jobs within the local community.