Vizag startups strive to build bridges between economy and ecology

From bio-enzyme cleaners and electronic waste recycling to biodegradable food packaging and sanitary napkins made from agro-waste cellulose, a group of startups in Visakhapatnam work tirelessly to make peace with nature through their sustainable products.

On World Environment Day (June 5th) on the topic: “Introduce anew, create anew, restore”, they spoke with The Hindu about your goals and your path so far.

Environmental friendliness is at the core of Greenwaves Environmental Solutions’ business values. From tackling the problem of e-waste and single-use plastic to recycling coconut waste and segregating marine litter, the organization has worked to develop green solutions in various areas in Visakhapatnam and Goa.

One of the most recent projects is Green Paw, which addresses the major marine litter challenges posed by ghost nets (nets that break down when fishing in the sea), nylon nets and balls, glass bottles and other plastic litter. The project was launched in December last year. “So far we have collected 3.5 tons of nylon nets on the coasts of Visakhapatnam and Goa. The separated nets are soaked and dried for a day before they are made into decorative products such as bracelets, earrings and baskets, ”says Potluri Anil Chowdary, CEO of the company. The company has worked with the Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, to commercialize its products from the marine litter project.

With the aim of solving the problem of plastic food packaging in a sustainable manner, Vijay Lakshmi Sena founded the House of Folium two years ago, which uses the concept of agro-waste pulp to produce biodegradable food packaging solutions. The company makes food containers such as bowls, plates, bento boxes, cups from the pulp of sugar cane and corn fiber. “These are 100% biodegradable. If you plant a seed in these containers, you can even see it turn into compost in three months, ”says Ms. Vijay Lakshmi, a former software expert. She adds that the city is becoming familiar with the idea of ​​sustainable food packaging solutions as many home bakers and small restaurants are signing up to use them for packaging COVID meals as well. Last year House of Folium launched an affordable range of biodegradable sanitary napkins made from banana, bamboo and corn fibers.

According to industry studies, India generates 9.46 million tons of plastic waste annually, 40% of which is not collected and 43% is used for packaging, most of which is single-use. To address this, K Jayalakshmi founded her company Vijayasri Jute Designs to manufacture jute and cotton bags with a team of 16 women from economically backward families. After her training in product development, marketing and business strategies, Ms. Jayalakshmi now manufactures and sells a range of jute bags from pouches to travel bags through her startup.

Keeping her home free of toxic chemical cleaners was a top priority for D. Sirisha after discovering that her pet was allergic to chemicals. She started Eco-Clean, her own brand of bio-enzyme cleaners, a year and a half ago and says the response over the past six to eight months has been encouraging.

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