As the Indian government banned the use of single-use plastic products, many Indian firms are going the extra mile by abolishing disposable plastics from packaging, serving food to the customers and using them as carrying bags. Recently, the food delivery firm, Zomato has followed the joined this movement and joined hands with the biodiesel manufacturing firm, BioD Energy, reported The Hindu.
This collaboration would result in meeting the growing demands of diesel. The two organizations will reportedly gather used cooking oil from restaurants across the nation and convert into biodiesel products, which will be later sold to oil marketing firms where it would be mixed with the diesel.
For some time, the Indian government has been thrusting to employ used cooking oil to be changed into biodiesel as an eco-friendly act. With this association, the two companies are aiming to amass 1,000 tonnes of used cooking oil every month and turn it into biodiesel.
“The idea was to look at some of the deep-rooted problems in the restaurant industry that affect health and the environment,” Ritesh Khera, spokesperson at Zomato, said in an interview with The Hindu.
“We are looking at one of the biggest culprits in the industry, which is used cooking oil and are trying to solve the main problem of the responsible disposal of it,” Khera added.
Zomato and BioD will reportedly initiate this project from the Delhi-NCR region. However, they will cover an additional five cities by the following month. BioD will give Zomato bar-coded to collect used cooking oil (UCO). After the oil amasses in bulk then it will be sent to BioD’s plant in which it will be changed into biodiesel.
“We have been collecting used cooking oil for the last two-and-a-half years and the biggest challenge we have faced is scaling it and increasing our collection rate,” Shiva Vig, CEO of BioD Energy said in an interview with Inc42.
Use of Used Cooking Oil (UCO)
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), 2300 crore of vegetable oil is consumed by India. Out of 2300, 40 per cent is utilized by restaurants. Further, out of this 40 per cent, 30 per cent of UCO is sold at a cheaper price. Later, it is purchased by a small restaurant as well as street vendors. By using the UCO repeatedly, it becomes acidic and detrimental for consumption. Further, it causes environmental problems.
Recently, the Indian government has brought attention to this issue and decided to reuse of UCO appropriately. In August this year, Indian oil marketing firms viz. Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum also introduced a program to buy biodiesel created from UCO in 100 cities across the nation, reported Inc42.
On the programme’s launch, the Health Minister of India, Harsh Vardhan appraised the efforts of the oil ministry (of India) to transform UCO into biodiesel. He had said that the repeated use of UCO can cause diseases like hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and liver ailments, among others, reported the cited media agency.