Next time you throw a used paper in the waste basket, think what all you can do with it. Proper recycling of paper can not only help save our fast disappearing greenery, but can also provide a sustainable business opportunity. While, buying and selling of newspapers may not seem like a new concept, grim statistics from the Indian Papers Manufacturer Association show that only 20% of paper in the country is currently being recovered annually. Whereas, in developed countries about 65% of papers are recovered and reused every year.“In India, the awareness about paper recycling is very bleak. There’s a huge gap between total paper wastage and papers recycled,” says B. Suresh Kumar, founder of Paper Waste, who has taken a unique approach to address the growing concern of paper wastage.
Hyderabad-based Paper Waste sends its pick up vans to offices, hospitals as well as individual homes to collect their used papers and dispatch them to recycling mills. In return it pays the customer by cash, equalling the amount of scrap collected, or gives them stationeries worth the same amount.
All one has to do is make a pick-up request on their website, and Paper Waste sends their cab to collect the papers on a pre-scheduled date.
“As I was always passionate about entrepreneurship, I used to think of doing something different than regular businesses and at the same time wanted to do my bit in restoring our ecosystem,” Kumar, who’s a mechanical engineer working in a MNC, tells your story in an interview.
With more offices in every city and improving literacy rate, the Indian paper industry is estimated to grow at about 8% annually. However, most paper mills in the country today import the scrap paper from outside. Around 17 trees and 1500 litres of oil are used in making just one ton of paper! And if that doesn’t seem so troubling, prepare to shell out more for paper in the coming days as price of coal – one of the key raw material used in paper manufacturing, has risen sharply by 40% in last one year.
Paper Waste is not the only company tapping into the recycling industry. Gurgaon-based Greenobin Pvt Ltd is steadily making its mark in the waste-management ecosystem.
Along with paper collection, these companies also conduct waste audit and waste management session with corporate offices.
“We provide quarterly, half yearly or yearly audit reports to the customers. This way we help our customers get a better understanding on their requirements. Office management can also understand how much paper is wasted on a monthly basis and decide accordingly on corrective actions,” Kumar explains.
Kumar and his company have made a number of successful tie-ups with schools, hospitals and corporate offices to collect their waste papers and are now looking to expand the team.
“We are still is the process of making ourselves heard. We are planning to advertise through radio and hope to attract a bigger customer base,” Kumar, who expects the paper recycling industry to grow by 15-20% annually, told Your Story.
We at YourStory, congratulate such inspiring ventures that not only help us manage our wastes, but take a bold move towards ensuring a greener world.
Author: Krishnakali Sengupta