Meet these 6 green startups that are on a mission to create a Swachh Bharat


Several eco-entrepreneurs have entered the untapped waste management space - expected to be worth $13.62 billion by 2025 - to leverage the opportunity and turn trash into cash.

According to the 2017 FICCI report on waste management, around 62 million tons of solid waste is produced in India every year. Of this, only 43 million tons is collected, only 12 million tons is treated; and the rest is dumped. The report highlights that this number is expected to rise to 436 million tons by 2050.

The survey also reveals that the untapped waste management market is expected to be worth $13.62 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 7.17 percent.

Considering the growing potential of this sector, several eco-minded entrepreneurs have entered the space to leverage the opportunity and turn trash into cash. Here’s a list of a few of the innovative green business ideas:

Saahas Waste Management

Based in: Bengaluru

Launched in 2013 by a former journalist, Wilma Rodrigues, Saahas Zero Waste (SZW) is a social enterprise that has redefined waste management and believes in a circular economy, converting waste to resources. SZW currently manages 25 tonnes of waste per day across Bangalore and Chennai, and is also operational in Gurugram, Surat, Hubballi, and Ballari. SZW offers products made from waste, including compost and a range of other recycled products like roofing sheets, chipboards, and stationary items.

Dry waste being sorted at a waste management unit run by SMZ .

The Upcycle Co

Based in: Mumbai

In 2014, three professionals came together to upcycle non-recyclable items and make quirky products out of the trash. By creating funky products made from waste, the trio aims to change perceptions around waste among urban youth as well as reduce waste from landfills and homes.

GEM Enviro Management

Based in: Delhi

Founded in 2013 by Dinesh Parikh, Sachin Sharma, and Aditya Parikh, GEM collects pre- and post-consumer packaging waste from factories, offices, hotels, motels, and institutes. The waste is then recycled into products such as T-shirts, caps, and bags, selling the products under its brand ‘Being Responsible’. The company also organises various programmes to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and the importance of recycling in corporates, universities, and institutes.

GEM Enviro Management team

Karwak Eco Matters

Based in: Pune

Eco entrepreneur, consultant, trainer, and a management teacher, Abhay Kardeguddi founded Karwak Eco Matters two decades ago. In 2016, he started Karwak's strategic business unit called 'Eco - Makhar' that offers a range of eco-friendly products made of recyclable material including recycled wood, corrugated paper, handmade paper, jute, and bamboo, among others.

Chakr Innovation

Based in: Delhi

Launched in 2016 by a team of IITians, Arpit Dhupar, Kushagra Srivastava and Prateek Sachan, Chakr Innovation aims to develop technologies to curb pollution, but in a recyclable way. With its award-winning patented technology Chakr Shield, it takes diesel soot from generators and converts it into inks and paints.

Inks/paints made from diesel soot via Chakr Shield

KK Plastic Waste Management

Based in: Bengaluru

Started in the year 2002, KK Plastic Waste Management is the founder and commercial promoter of the technology — "Reuse of plastic waste in asphalting of roads" (reusing plastic waste as an additive in construction of road) and has been patented and certified by the Centre for Transportation Engineering ("CTE") and the Central Road Research Institute ("CRRI"). The company operates a plastic reuse/recycling plant in Bangalore that can process up to 30 metric tons of plastics per day.