Aspirelabs Accelerator launched FINILOOP PLASTIC LAB program to support Plastic Waste Management Startups on 27th March, 2023

New Delhi (India), April 5: Aspirelabs launched FINILOOP PLASTIC LAB (www.aspirelabs.com/fpl), which is a part of FINILOOP (Financial Inclusion & Improved Livelihoods out of Plastics) – a city-level solid waste management program. FINILOOP is designed to achieve plastic waste-free cities by improving solid and plastic waste management while strengthening the livelihood opportunities of informal waste workers and fostering innovation for plastic waste enterprises. FINILOOP PLASTIC LAB (FPL) is a 14-month-long incubation program to support plastic waste entrepreneurs and startups from across the country who would work to make Udaipur and Amritsar plastic waste-free cities using the circular economy concept.

FPL is supported by the IKEA Foundation (www.ikeafoundation.org) and is being implemented by Aspirelabs (www.aspirelabs.com), WASTE Foundation (www.waste.nl) and Trust of People. It is also being supported by strategic partners like FINISH Society, Take a Stake fund and Shriram Institute of Industrial Research. The launch event held on 27th March 2023 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, featured eminent speakers from govt. and industry. Mr. Ranjit Singh, Aspirelabs founder, Mr. Jeroen IJgosse, WASTE Foundation, and Ms. Sophie Van den Berg, Program Director, FINILOOP, introduced the participants to the scope and objectives of the program and how the startups and cities will benefit from it. The chief guest, Mr. CK Mishra, Former Union Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), in his address, emphasized the need for a paradigm shift vis-à-vis plastic and congratulated Aspirelabs for adding a fifth ‘R’ – ‘Reimagine’ to the existing four R’s of plastic – Refuse, Reuse, Recycle and Recover and he hoped that FINILOOP would be able to close the loop on plastics.

The program was divided into three sessions with a common theme of “REIMAGINE PLASTIC”. The discussions focused on accelerating plastic circularity and covered the following aspects – • Policy challenges & interventions • Perspective of startups regarding challenges related to circularity in plastics • Bridging the critical gaps to catalyze circularity in plastics • In the first session, there were individual speeches by prominent researchers, policymakers, academicians, CSR experts & people from industry at large to explain the justifications for the laws and their long-term effects.

Some of them were Mr. Somveer Anand, CEO and Mission Director, Innovation Mission Punjab (Virtual), Mr. Prabhat Pani, Executive Director – CISD, SPJIMR; (Virtual), Prof Anup Kumar Ghosh, Emeritus Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, IIT Delhi, Mr. Harkesh Mittal, Chairman, Startup India Seed Fund Committee, Govt. of India, Ms. Saloni Goel, Head Circular Economy and Plastic Waste Management, UNDP India, Ms. Gitika Goswami, Associate Vice President & Lead Policy Research & Planning, Development Alternatives, Dr. Mukul Das, Director, Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, Ms. Rishika Chatterjee, Associate – Startup India and Mr. Pavee Raheja, Chief Strategy Officer, Terraform ESG. • In the second session, we had our first-panel discussion to understand the perspective of startups already working in Plastic Waste Management space and the challenges faced by them.

Panelists were Ms. Sonal Shukla, Co-Founder econscious, Mr. Rakesh Thakur, COO of Dhruven Entreprises, Ms. Sakshi Jha, CoFounder, SarfarazSakshi Innovation, Mr. Pranjul Jha, Chief Operating Officer, Biocrux India, Mr. Mukul Chhabra, Founder, ScrapUncle, Ms. Divya Shetty, COO and Co-founder, Cercle X (Infinite Cercle) and Ms. Anita Ahuja, Co-Founder and President Conserve India. • The third and last session was devoted to the issue of overcoming the challenges faced in accelerating plastic circularity and bridging those gaps. Panelists were Mr. Abhijit Banerji, Member Secretary, FINISH Society & Director FINISH Mondial India, Mr. Mihir Banerji, Co-chairman, Plastindia Committee & Secretary General, PPRDC, Mr. D P Singh, Vice President, Re Sustainability, Dr. Madhab Chakraborty, Joint Director and Regional Head at Indian Institute of Packaging, Delhi, Mr. Arunavo Mukherjee, Vice President – Advisory Services, Tata Cleantech Capital, Mr. Kamlesh Kholiya, Sustainability Manager – South Asia Markets, Tetra Pak. About Aspirelabs Aspirelabs(www.aspirelabs.com) is a startup accelerator and incubator centrally located in Delhi NCR with a network of high-quality business, sectoral, and startup mentors.

Aspirelabs runs customized programs designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation and to enable young businesses and startups to scale up for profitability. In the last 6 years, we have helped 600+ startups through the following – • Design and implementation of startup acceleration/incubation programs; • Mentoring and assisting startups in scaling up. • Techno-commercial studies, consulting, and advocacy on the environment, waste management, sustainability, and related issues • Direct and indirect funding Lamp lighting ceremony by (L to R); Prof AK Ghosh, Emeritus Professor, IIT Delhi; Mr. Jeroen IJgosse, Solid Waste Expert, WASTE Foundation; Mr. Ranjit Singh, Founder Aspirelabs; Ms. Nivedita Singh, Founder Co-create change; Mr. C K Mishra, Former Secretary, MoEFCC, Govt. of India; Ms. Saloni Goel, Head Circular Economy and Plastic Waste Management, UNDP India; Mr. Abhijit Banerji, Member Secretary, FINISH Society & Director FINISH Mondial India.

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