Beco, EcoBuddy, Geeli Mitti — 5 startups that are tackling single-use plastics with their eco-friendly bamboo products
Right from the bottles we drink from to the toys we buy for children, plastic has been an integral part of our lives.
According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in 2017, India alone generated close to 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day. Single-use plastics widely affect the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, which sees tonnes of garbage getting dumped in the oceans each year.
The affinity towards plastic, as well as its high rate of usage, is attributed to some of its inherent properties like durability, affordability, and strength. While many startups are attempting to roll out a cleaner and greener alternative to the material through innovation and creativity, bamboo has stood out among the many substitutes.
SocialStory lists five Indian startups that are bringing out bamboo and related products to tackle the plastic menace.
Consumer goods startup Beco (Be Eco) was founded by Aditya Ruia, Anuj Ruia, Punit Batra, and Akshay Varma in 2017. The startup is known for manufacturing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic products such as facial tissues, toilet rolls, and kitchen towels.
Most of Beco’s items are made from the bamboo pulp and corn starch, and hence, are completely eco-friendly. It has been using a specific type of bamboo called Moso, which mainly grows in China, Maharashtra, and certain regions in Northeast India.
After witnessing the detrimental effect of plastic packaging on the environment, the Mumbai-based startup decided to use only craft and recycled paper for wrapping its products.
Despite having a few recycling units in the city, Pune still sees a large amount of plastic waste getting generated regularly. This caught Suraj Said’s eyes, and after brainstorming with his friends, he came up with the idea for ‘We are EcoBuddy.’
Suraj, along with his team of volunteers, started selling substitutes to single-use plastic products such as bamboo toothbrushes, cotton bags, among others. The startup has already sold around 34,500 products since its inception in May 2019, and is presently catering to over 600 orders on an average every month. It gets its products manufactured by seven vendors and has supported more than 250 lives in the process.
Besides this, EcoBuddy also conducts awareness workshops on composting, as well as tree plantation drives, to enlighten people.
In 2011, Anil Agarwal, Aadesh Agarwal, and Abhishek Agarwal began questing for ideas to replace single-use plastics, and thus kicked off Pappco Greenware together.
The Mumbai startup sells seven different product lines with over 150 items, ranging from plates, glasses, and bowls, which are made from sugarcane, wheat straw, and bamboo, among others. In fact, these products are microwavable up to 100 degrees Celsius. It also leverages bioplastics created from plants, algae, or microorganisms.
Pappco is working with popular clients such as Curefit, Marriott hotels, and Taj hotels to help them reduce their plastic footprint, and thereby leave a positive impact on the planet.
Thirty-six-year-old environmentalist Shagun Singh started Geeli Mitti Foundation at Nainital in Uttarakhand to create sustainable spaces and structures which are as close to nature as possible. One such example is the Geeli Mitti farms, where every structure is made from mud, cow dung, and lime. It also uses trash to make something useful out of it.
Shagun believes that these structures contain spiritual vibes that are usually absent in the ones made out of cement. She is also known to conduct month-long courses on the art of building houses with mud and bamboo for students across the world. The income from these courses helps Shagun manage the costs of the farm and the foundation.
Zogam Bamboo Works (ZBW)
V Ginkhanpau and Golan Suanzamung Naulak run an eco-friendly handicrafts venture by the name Zogam Bamboo Works in Lamka, Manipur. The duo uses bamboo to make pens, water bottles, and decorative pieces.
Recently, one of Zogam’s products — bamboo tiffin box — became a hit after, IFS officer Radha Ramen shared it on social media platform Twitter. The tiffin box is similar to a traditional steel one, which has three storage sections, with all of them tightly sealed to prevent any sort of leakage. These boxes can last up to three years, and can be used to store both hot and cold food.
Edited by Suman Singh