This Bhubaneswar startup is paving the way for a greener future with seed pens

Odisha-based Likhan manufactures use and throws pens with vegetable and fruit seeds in it, which later germinates into a tree.

10th Jul 2019
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Looking at the growing concern for our environment, the trend of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is fast catching up around the world.


While switching to green products can be overwhelming, it is certainly not impossible. It can help reduce plastic waste and improve the quality of the environment we live in.


And while we talk about taking up green initiatives, going a step ahead and making a difference in its own way is Detour Odisha, a startup that takes tourists on guided heritage trails across the state’s capital Bhubaneswar.


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Tourists who visited the city were given the plantable pens (Image: NDTV)




After cyclone Fani affected the state recently, Detour Odisha organised the 124th Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, during which the organisers distributed eco-friendly pens for tourists as a souvenir, reports The New Indian Express.


What is interesting about these pens is it consists of vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds in it. These pens are manufactured by Likhan, a startup that was started by two college students Prem Shanker Pandey and Md Raza of Centurion University, Odisha.


In a conversation with NDTV, 21-year-old Prem Shanker said,


“We have made an eco-friendly alternative to use-and-throw pens. Of course, these pens have a plastic refill, but the body of the pens has been created from waste newspaper. Therefore, in comparison to regular pens that are 100 percent plastic, our pens have only 10 percent plastic. Also, unlike regular use and throw pens, you can discard these upcycled pens in a pot or soil, nurture it, and within weeks it will germinate into a plant.”


The aim behind the startup was to tackle the paper waste generated on the university campus. Prem and Md Raza later landed up with an idea to produce paper pencil and took this concept to develop paper pens too.


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Plantable pens made from old news papers (Image: NDTV)




Speaking about the initiative, Prem said,


“Back in college, I along with one of my friends tried making edible water balls, which are an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic water bottles, but the project failed. Later, in the final year, we were asked to submit a project that was innovative and valuable. We were given a week’s time to find a problem in our community and devise a solution, which would be our project.”


The pen is made from regular products like upcycled paper, glue (made from indigenous glue), refill, and seeds. The founders have also designed a machine for pen production at a cost of Rs 28,000, which can produce 200 pens in an hour. While the regular upcycled pen costs Rs 5, the plantable pen costs Rs 7.


(Edited by Megha Reddy)



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