These startups throw plastic out of your kitchen with ecofriendly alternativesAthira Nair
These startups have taken the theme for World Environment Day 2018 - Beat Plastic Pollution - to heart, and are offering green alternatives for kitchen jars, cutlery, and bottles.
That plastic is hurting the planet is not new. Plastic is everywhere – in shopping bags, kitchen jars, cutlery, containers, plates, bottles… the list is endless. The theme for World Environment Day 2018 - Beat Plastic Pollution - was a call to action for everyone to join hands and kick out plastic from our lives. Despite the awareness, it’s not really happening.
According to FICCI, India produces 15 mmtpa of plastic at present, and this is seen rising to 20 mmtpa by 2020. Not many people realise that plastic can – apart from ravaging the environment – be carcinogenic. A bunch of startups are set to replace plastic out in our lives – starting with our kitchens. Read more to find out about the eco-friendly alternatives your kitchen (and future generations) will thank you for.
Bengaluru-based AstuEco offers plates, trays, glasses, cups, and containers that are 100 percent natural, and biodegradable. Founded by Anitha Shankar and Tejashree Madhu in 2017, it is now researching bamboo, paper, bio-plastic, and organic products for more earth-friendly alternatives. AstuEco has two plants, one in Shimoga and the other in Hosur. The capacity of both these plants is well over 100,000 units a month. About 30 percent of its business comes from online channels; the rest from its distribution network in retail stores. A bundle of 25 plates retails for about Rs 449.
Hyderabad-based Bakeys was founded in 2010 to make edible cutlery from nutritious food materials. The company claims the cutlery contains no chemicals, additives, or preservatives. The edible lunch spoons – which come in sweet, savoury, or plain flavour – have a large quantity of sorghum, a crop that is strong, abundant, and requires very little energy for cultivation. Bakeys claims the products have a long shelf life as they are moisture and fat free. Founder Narayana Peesapaty, who was senior research officer at ICRISAT before launching Bakeys, won the Swachh Bharat Award Prime Minister Narendra Modi on World Environment Day.
Founded by Anil Agarwal, Aadesh Agarwal, and Abhishek Agarwal in 2011, Mumbai-based Pappco Greenware produces eco-friendly food packaging products. Offering alternatives to both single-use plastic and paper products, Pappco Greenware offers more than 150 products across categories like plates, bowls, glasses, tableware, pine boats, spoons, forks, knives, dim sum baskets, paper straws, skewers etc. that are made from natural fibers such as sugarcane, wheat straw, and bamboo. (Sugarcane and bamboo mature in just two years, reducing the massive dependence on trees and also doing away with the need to use oil incorporated in plastic products.
Envigreen Biotech, founded by Ashwath Hegde in Bengaluru in 2016, the creates plastic-free bags from vegetable waste and oil derivatives. Developed in Europe by a bunch of researchers and approved by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, they decompose naturally in 60-180 days. Although they look like plastic bags, they dissolve in boiling water in just 15 seconds, and use ingredients like starch, potato, corn, etc. The bootstrapped startup claims that their products, which include carry bags, trash bags, oil and grease sachets, bin liners, and aprons among others, are even edible for animals.
Mumbai-based Tintbox provides silicone-clad borosilicate glass lunch boxes and water bottles that are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and chemically inactive. It claims to be the only brand in India with borosilicate glass lunch boxes and bottles. The outer protective silicone sleeve ensures they don’t break even after falling. Ridhi Singhai, 30, from Mumbai, founded TintBox in 2017. Bootstrapped, with about Rs 1.5 crore invested so far, TintBox’s offerings are priced between Rs 650 and Rs 2,500. Tintbox is among Amazon’s ‘Choice List’, which enlists products on account of uniqueness, quality, seller feedback, and minimum returns.