A Pune-based firm is doing its bit for the environment by making usable products out of plastic waste.
"Ecokaari is a social enterprise that has two aims, to conserve the environment and to provide livelihood as artisans to women and Youth. Ecokaari is a mix of two words, eco-friendy and Kaarigari (Craftsmanship) that reflects both of these aims," Nandan Bhatt founder of the firm 'Ecokaari' told ANI.
'Ecokaari' aims to conserve the environment and to provide livelihood as artisans to women and Youth.| ANI
"I am from Kashmir and I was always well-connected with nature and wanted to do something for it. I came to Maharashtra for my studies and would often go trekking with friends. I would observe a lot of plastic waste being thrown by people in the mountains or streets. I started to do my research and came up with an idea of upcycling this waste into usable products," Bhatt added on the origins of his initiative.
Bhatt said that he had started with this project after the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic back in September last year.
The firm has tie-ups with waste-picking organizations that get them plastics from across the country. | ANI
Purchases are made from waste pickers and companies generating plastic waste as well.| ANI
"We have tied up with waste-picking organizations that get us plastics from across the country, which we reuse. We also get plastic from donations. Purchases are made from waste pickers and companies generating plastic waste as well. We collect plastic in form of gift wrappers, packets of chips and cookies too," said Bhatt on how the firm got its raw materials.
Handloom and traditional Charkha are used to make fabric out of plastics that are used to make beautiful products.| ANI
Their range of items include bags, accessories, office stationery, footwear, home decor products etc." | ANI
Speaking further on the procedure of making handwoven products, he said: "From colour-wise segregation of plastics to sanitization, the process of plastic upcycling is entirely manual. After we get the plastic, we wash it and sanitise it. No machine, heat, or chemicals is used. Then it is left to dry in sun. Later it is segregated. We cut the plastic into strips. Handloom and traditional Charkha are used to make fabric out of plastics that are used to make beautiful products."
On the product catalogue of his firm, he added, "We make a variety of products, whatever we can make. Some of our items include bags, accessories, office stationery, footwear, home decor products etc." He said that the firm upcycles 300-400 kgs of plastic waste every month.
Footwear made out of plastic waste. | ANI
Bhatt said that there are numerous sources of sales and income for the firm. Products are sold through his website, third-party e-commerce websites. Corporate gifts, exports to the US, Europe and sales in handloom/organic product outlets in Goa, Mumbai and Delhi also serve as a steady source of sales and revenue.
Expressing his thoughts on environmental conservation, he added, "It is extremely important for all of us to conserve the environment. It is even more important after Covid. One can start it himself with some small steps, such as carrying his own bags, bottles and cutlery and not relying on plastic ones."