Biotech startup Eco Works fights air pollution with beautiful indoor plants


With growing pollution and carbon dioxide content in atmosphere, and depleting green cover, indoor gardens are slowly becoming a necessity for good health in many cities. However, such gardens are hard to manage due to the hassles involved; may it be managing the soil, ensuring proper nutrients and sunlight to the plants, or watering them. 

To address this problem scientifically, Eco Works, a Bangalore based biotech startup, has come up with an odorless super absorbent cross linked polymer gel, which works like a good looking sponge and can retain water and provide essential nutrients for plants.

Eco Wonder Gel is an innovative product to help promote indoor greenery in urban areas, while looking visually attractive. The gel makes gardening hassle free, and helps to expand the footprint of gardening into the domain of interior designing.

A gush of fresh air, from NASA to your house

A study done by Tel Aviv University in Israel, using satellite data, has found that air pollution in Bangalore has increased on an average by 34% between 2002 and 2010. Today 10% of Bangalore adults and over 50% children suffer from diseases which have their roots in the polluted environment they live in. The story is the same in most cities. Most of these issues are due to the reducing green cover in the densely populated urban cities.

Interestingly, a biological solution to this menace was given by an unlikely leader – the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During a research involving sending of manned aircraft to space without too much payload for oxygen using biological systems of atmospheric regeneration, they found that indoor air pollution can be effectively handled by indoor plants.

This approach can be applied to increasing indoor air pollution across the world. NASA dedicated an entire facility called Biohome in its Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, USA to study the impact of indoor plants in removing indoor air pollution.

Inspired by the work done by NASA, Eco Works, a biotech startup in Bangalore, created the product Eco Wonder Gel, to help promote usage of indoor plants to address indoor air pollution and generate fresh air indoors. The startup is incubated inside a leading biotech lab in the city called Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation (VMSRF) which is a lab recognized by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

Go for a four week holiday without watering your plant

The gel is a plant support system containing a blend of plant nutrients in a cross linked polymer with eco friendly and aesthetically crafted blend of colors. It contains carbohydrates and micronutrients which get released to the plant in a controlled manner. The ingredients are compatible with the plant’s growth. Indoor ornamental plants with limited water requirement and relaxed metabolism are an ideal match for the gel.Essentially, Eco Wonder Gel assures that taking care of indoor plants becomes Maintenance free thereby creating a social impact of promoting indoor greenery while looking good.

Sameer Wadhwa, CEO, Eco Works says,

Today, we hardly see any plants indoors. It is largely because taking care of indoor plants is difficult. In today’s busy life, people don’t have time to take care of the plants on a daily basis, and hence they are not able to keep plants. The gel makes indoor plants maintenance free. You just have to water the plant and feed it once or twice a month. Moreover, the gel looks very appealing. It refracts light and glows. It’s a beautiful concept.

According to Sameer, the mission of Eco Works is to put a plant on every office desk and home of Bangalore, and eventually grow to other Indian cities. It will help fight the increasing air pollution and also make office spaces look beautiful. Sameer, who is an MBA from IIM Ahmadabad, has left his cushy corporate job to take up this noble mission to make workplaces and homes free from indoor air pollution.When asked about the idea, Dr. Anil Kush, Mentor for Eco Works, says,

The gel offers unique value in terms of air purification and creative flavor. It ensures judicious use of precious ingredients like water. Moreover,its blending with plant nutrients makes it ideal for indoor use in urban environment. The traditional potting media such as soil and fertilizer are more suitable for outdoor applications.

Dr. Kush has been studying plants for last 35 years and has worked at leading biotech research institutes across the globe such as Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Pasteur Institute, France; The Rockefeller University, USA; and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore. VMSRF has very serious commitment to environment, energy and health care using cutting edge modern science.

An array of products to help make your world greener

Eco Works has several other biotech innovations already in the market. Eco Veg Wash helps you remove pesticide and pathogen from fruits and vegetables before consumption. The product is available with leading retailers such as Namdharis, Total Mall, Food World and Big Basket.

They also have a range of natural gardening products which can help you grow your own organic food right at your home. They also have an innovative Dental Care product derived from Papaya which can remove caries without drilling.

With such innovations, there is a renewed hope of improving the green footprint in urban areas.


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