This Bengaluru couple is showing us how to live plastic-free with these eco-friendly products
Founded by Akshata Bhadranna and her husband Rahul Pagad in 2016, Bengaluru-based Dopology provides eco-friendly items like paper pencils and seed paper, which are biodegradable.Think Change India
Every product has a shelf life, but not plastic. Plastic takes nearly 500 years to completely degrade. And India generates more than 300 million tonnes of plastic waste annually.
Recently, a plastic bag was found in the deepest point lying on the ocean bed at the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean. According to a World Economic Forum study on plastic pollution around the world, oceans will have more plastics than fish by 2050 if plastic pollution continues to rise.
To tackle the menace and pave way for a sustainable and plastic-free future, Akshata Bhadranna and her husband Rahul Pagad from Bengaluru founded Dopology in 2016.
From bamboo toothbrushes to seed papers and newspaper pencils, the company makes eco-friendly products that are not only useful, but also affordable.
“Most people in India are from the middle-class, and we wanted to make sustainability affordable to them,” reports Deccan Herald.
To address the same and bring an eco-friendly product, which everyone can buy, the couple started coming up with affordable solutions. For instance, the duo is manufacturing pencils made from old newspapers. To bring down the cost further, Rahul setup a manufacturing unit in his hometown, Dharwad, instead of sourcing pencils from manufacturers in Jaipur, which wasn’t feasible.
Speaking to Edex Live on the same, Akshata said,
“In addition to being eco-friendly, we wanted to provide employment to people in Hubballi and Dharwad. Our 2B paper pencils cost Rs 9 each, but in the coming days, we will be reducing the cost by Rs 5 to Rs 7. We also manufacture colour pencils, and the cost for about 10 colour pencils cost Rs 120 and last longer.”
To give an insight, pencils alone are responsible for cutting of trees. As per Akshata, it takes six million trees to produce 15 million pencils every year.
Moving from pencils made from papers, the duo started selling bamboo brushes, which were imported from Vietnam. Initially, these were sold to the couple’s family and friends. Speaking on this, Akshata said,
“My brother is a scientist and we pestered him to recommend bamboo brushes to his clients for the good of the environment. But the cost of the bamboo brushes in the market was Rs 210 or even more. And people don't like to spend so much money. Hence, we started selling baby and adult bamboo brushes for Rs 80 only. All of them were sold out. Now, we are sourcing these brushes from China to lower the cost.”
However, the major issue was convincing the crowd who were solely dependent on plastic items. The duo went and met almost every vendor and tried convincing them to use recyclable materials for packaging.
Now, they have started working with other companies for their customised packaging, and with every product shipped, they include a seed paper in the parcel, which is a biodegradable paper embedded with seeds. The seed paper consists of marigold and jasmine seeds, and can be planted after the customer has used the paper.
At present, the couple are able to take only about 500 to 1,000 seed paper orders. Dopology has also done seed paper packaging, and has made price tags for a company, which is into making eco-friendly soaps and beauty products.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)