Press ESC to close

Bubble Wrap From Coir? Lady Makes use of Seaweed For Sustainable Packaging

Do you know that India alone produces 9,400 tonnes of plastic waste which leads to landfills or streams? Regardless of recycling 60 % of its waste, plastic waste, together with packaging waste, stays littered and unmanaged, impacting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

From packaging movies, wrapping supplies, purchasing and rubbish luggage to fluid containers, clothes, toys, and constructing supplies, plastic waste has a broad vary of purposes.

“Even in paper-based packaging for espresso and chai mugs, they’re laminated with plastic to make them waterproof. Take, for instance, paper-based pouches, containers, trays, or cups. So, whereas nearly all of the packaging is paper, this lamination makes them unfit to recycle or biodegrade,” says Khushboo Gandhi, founding father of Pune-based startup ‘Go Do Good’ that develops sustainable packaging.

“Equally, the black ink, which is usually utilized in printing newspapers and magazines, has carbon in it. It can not return to the planet with out correct processing as a result of it is filled with heavy metals and chemical compounds that can have an effect on the soil,” she provides.

Khushboo says these products are equally durable and keep items like powder, liquid detergent, and food items safe.
Khushboo says these merchandise are equally sturdy and maintain objects like powder, liquid detergent, and meals objects secure.

In an progressive approach, Khushboo has repurposed agro-waste to search out options for single-use plastic.

“We work with an array of uncooked supplies like pure pigments, seaweed, and coir to make eco-friendly inks and bubble wraps, together with offering insulation options constructed from coconut and wool waste. We now have additionally created an eco-friendly coating which replaces the laminated paper,” she says.

Along with her firm ‘Go Do Good’, she has changed as much as 10 tonnes of single-use plastic, printed 1.5 lakh merchandise with eco-friendly inks, changed 7 tonnes of bubble wrap with biodegradable coir, and repurposed 5 tonnes of agro-waste.

From saving ribbons to saving planet

Born and raised in Mumbai, Khushboo pursued increased schooling in design and materials improvement at NIFT. That is the place she turned fascinated with packaging design and sustainable practices.

“I’ve additionally been raised to dwell in a sustainable method. I used to avoid wasting little ribbons from presents. I used to be a type of youngsters who could be fascinated to see the skin of a product greater than the product itself,” she laughs.

Khushboo has repurposed agro-waste to find alternatives for single-use plastic.
Khushboo has repurposed agro-waste to search out options for single-use plastic.

So, when she began her skilled profession, she usually puzzled about numerous methods to dwell sustainably and create a bigger influence on the planet.

On a trekking tour in Ladakh in 2015, Khushboo shares that she discovered plastic waste even within the remotest of all locations there. “I noticed leftover plastic like sachets being burned close to a water stream. It actually hit me how deep-rooted the issue had turn out to be. This wanted to be solved,” she says.

Following this, in 2018, she went to pursue her masters in materials improvement in Barcelona, Spain, to formally educate herself in round financial system and design considering. “This gave me the boldness to really construct supplies that may substitute plastic,” she provides.

After a yr spent in analysis and improvement, Khushboo formally launched her firm in 2021 alongside along with her brother Ronak Gandhi, and her husband, Chanakya Medh.

Ink from seaweed, bubble wrap from coir & extra

Shedding gentle on the issues within the packaging business, Khushboo says, “There are a number of sorts of plastic used for various purposes. For instance, ink printed on the packaging is poisonous as nicely, and comprises heavy steel components, artificial chemical compounds, and paraffin waxes. So even you probably have a compostable materials, it’s important to print on it  with common, poisonous ink.”

“Equally, individuals fail to see layers of plastic lamination on packaging and the artificial glue used within the sticker business. These are the areas we strived to work on,” she provides.

Being a fabric innovation firm, Khushboo’s purpose was to unravel industrial issues utilizing pure supplies which will be composted at residence. As an example, the startup has innovated a coating compostable at residence which naturally makes paper water resistant and heat-fillable — two primary properties that plastic gives.

The startup uses natural pigments and seaweed to make eco-friendly inks.
The startup makes use of pure pigments and seaweed to make eco-friendly inks.

“We now have additionally utilised heavy coconut coir which might be normally used to make mattresses, rugs, or doormats. This gives glorious cushioning properties for fragile merchandise and acts as a direct alternative for bubble wrap. We additionally use tamarind seeds to make water-based glue and are changing the poisonous ink with our eco-friendly ink that has been developed from seaweed and pure pigments,” she explains.

Sharing why she zeroed down on utilizing seaweed, Khushboo says, “Seaweed has a polymer construction and behaves similar to plastic when it comes to stretchability, flexibility, and transparency. It could return to the planet way more simply.”

“These supplies enable all the things that’s on the package deal and contained in the package deal to be 100% biodegradable. and compostable at residence. So, tomorrow while you’re performed utilizing the product, you may dump it in your yard and it’ll compost inside 30 to 45 days,” she provides.

Curiously, Khushoo says, the worth distinction can also be at par with solely a ten % distinction. 

“Out there, a 250g paper pillow pouch with a plastic lamination (the pouches through which objects like milk, chips, spices are bought in) prices Rs 7 whereas our pure pouch prices between Rs 7.5 to eight. We made our merchandise inexpensive and suitable in order that it could be simpler for increasingly individuals to modify to pure supplies as a substitute of plastic,” she provides.

Khushboo's startup has innovated eco-friendly coating which replaces the laminated paper.
Khushboo’s startup has innovated eco-friendly coating which replaces the laminated paper.

Speaking in regards to the limitations of the merchandise, she says, “Our merchandise are equally sturdy. We don’t require any tape or artificial glue and our packaging merchandise maintain your flowers, powder, liquid detergent, grains, and takeaway meals objects secure. The most important benefit is that you’re not compromising on any of the makes use of whereas additionally contributing in the direction of the betterment of our planet.”

As of now, the startup is commercialising its packaging options to 50 shoppers within the B2B sector, together with eating places and cafeterias.

Along with her work, Khushboo has been in a position to divert tonnes of plastic packaging waste, however she believes much more work must be performed in changing multi-layer packaging. 

“We are actually designing sheets utilizing seaweed which might be particularly supposed to switch the clear plastic sheets instantly that are used extensively throughout the nation,” she shares.

Wanting on the success of her startup, Khushboo says, “For me, it was a significant journey. It took time to make approach by the packaging business because it’s a male-dominated business. As a feminine founder, you actually need to be very headstrong when it comes to main the corporate.”

“Folks doubted our capabilities. However we both might have held ourselves again or been captivated with our work. I select the latter. The influence that we see makes me very constructive in regards to the work we do and the quantity of change it could actually carry within the society,” she provides.

Edited by Padmashree Pande. All images: Khushboo Gandhi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *