Revolutionizing Recycling: Reliance Industries’ Path to Sustainable Plastics

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a leading Indian conglomerate, has made significant strides in environmental conservation by becoming the first Indian company to chemically recycle plastic waste into high-quality materials suitable for producing new plastics. This initiative is part of the company’s broader commitment to supporting a circular economy in India, where waste materials are repurposed to create valuable products, thereby reducing environmental impact.

Overview of the Innovation

  1. Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste: The core of this initiative is the chemical recycling of plastic waste. Traditional mechanical recycling methods are limited in their ability to handle all types of plastics, especially those that are not easily recyclable. Reliance’s approach involves converting these challenging plastic wastes into pyrolysis oil using a novel catalytic process. This method is more efficient than conventional thermal pyrolysis and produces higher quality pyrolysis oil.
  2. Production of Circular Polymers: The pyrolysis oil obtained from plastic waste is then used to create Circular Polymers. These polymers are named CircuRepol™ (Polypropylene) and CircuRelene™ (Polyethylene). The use of pyrolysis oil derived from waste plastics to produce these polymers is a critical component of the circular economy, as it ensures that plastic waste is not merely discarded but is instead repurposed into new, valuable materials.
  3. ISCC-Plus Certification: Reliance’s Jamnagar refinery, known for its scale and complexity, has achieved the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC)-Plus. This certification is a testament to the company’s compliance with stringent standards for traceability and sustainable production processes in creating circular polymers.

Environmental and Economic Impact

  • Reducing Plastic Waste: By transforming plastic waste into valuable products, Reliance is addressing one of the most pressing environmental issues – plastic pollution. This innovative recycling process reduces the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or the environment.
  • Creating Sustainable Products: The circular polymers produced through this process can be used in various applications, including packaging that comes into contact with food, demonstrating their safety and utility.
  • Economic Growth and Sustainability: As one of India’s largest private sector companies, Reliance’s move towards sustainability aligns with its economic goals. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, the company reported a consolidated revenue of INR 974,864 crore (USD 118.6 billion), cash profit of INR 125,951 crore (USD 15.3 billion), and a net profit of INR 73,670 crore (USD 9.0 billion).

Broader Implications

  • Leadership in Sustainability: Reliance Industries’ initiative sets a precedent for other companies in India and globally to follow, showing that environmental responsibility and economic prosperity can go hand in hand.
  • Inspiration for Innovation: This development serves as an inspiration for further innovation in the field of recycling and sustainability, encouraging others to explore similar technologies and processes.
  • Impact on Circular Economy: The success of this project contributes significantly to the concept of a circular economy in India, promoting the idea that resources can be reused and repurposed efficiently to minimize waste and environmental impact.


Reliance Industries’ venture into chemically recycling plastic waste into high-quality materials for new plastics is a significant step towards environmental sustainability. This initiative not only showcases innovative technology but also demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles of a circular economy. It sets a benchmark for corporate responsibility in environmental conservation and could serve as a model for similar initiatives globally.



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