Pune: 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-friendly and Kaarigari (Craftsmanship) that reflects both of these aims,” said Nandan Bhatt, founder of the firm ‘Ecokaari’.
“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 explained.
Bhatt said that he had started with this project after the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic back in September last year.
“We have tied up with waste-picking organisations 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 gets its raw materials.
Speaking further on the procedure of making handwoven products, he said: “From colour-wise segregation of plastics to sanitisation, 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.” 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 to 400 kgs of plastic waste every month.