The Huhtamaki Foundation, a charitable trust formed by food packaging firm Huhtamaki, has opened its first recycling facility in Khopoli in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

The 2,000m² plant has been developed with a Rs90m ($1.17m) investment and is part of the trust’s ‘CloseTheLoop’ initiative to combat post-consumer waste.

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Through it, the Huhtamaki Foundation aims to promote packaging circularity in India.

The Khopoli plant features advanced technology to sort post-consumer waste, hot washing to remove any contamination, and extrusion capabilities with extra filtration and deodorisation.

It is fully operational and can recycle nearly 1,600kg of post-consumer used flexible plastic waste a day.

Resin from the facility will be used to manufacture household products for consumers in India.

Huhtamaki Foundation Trustee Sunil Bhagwat said: “The Huhtamaki Foundation has been set up to work towards the conservation of the environment in India with a focus on driving sustainable packaging solutions and driving forward the circular economy by setting up recycling schemes.

“It actively advocates for alternate sustainable plastic packaging structures, solutions and ease of recyclability.

“Setting up the recycling plant is the first step that the Huhtamaki Foundation has taken in the direction of driving circularity.

“Over the next few years, we will strive to set up similar facilities in major geographies in India. We are constantly evaluating newer recycling technologies that could be deployed.”

To develop the facility, the Huhtamaki Foundation collaborated with the local community and authority in Maharashtra, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises.

The trust also worked with a number of educational institutions, including Swachh, Stri Mukti Sanghtana, CIPET and ICT.

It is estimated that India generates nearly 26,000t of plastic waste a day, with more than 10,000t of this going uncollected.

Last month, Huhtamaki decided to divest its Russian operations as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.