These Shepreneurs Aim to Change the Lives of 100 Crore People!
Plastic usage has been affecting our environment for a long time. But here’s a startup that disrupts the way of thinking! Scroll down!
Just the other day, IAAE talked about the banes of plastic, and how harmful its usage could be in our daily lives. Despite generating ample awareness about the hazardous effects of plastic, results aren’t that impressive. As per a report by FICCI, India generates about 15 MMTPA of plastic currently, and would produce 20 MMTPA by 2020.
The aftermath of excessive use of plastic is indeed detrimental to the society. Bengaluru-based shepreneurs; Anitha Shankar and Tejshree Madhu realised the consequences of this deep-rooted problem and were looking forward to do something about it.
Their ideas and thoughts gained a common ground, and thus was born AstuEco – a one-stop platform for eco-friendly plates, trays, glasses, cups and containers that are 100 percent natural and biodegradable.
Talking to IAAE staffer Gairika Mitra, the duo shared thoughts about their new venture. Edited excerpts:
AstuEco focusses on reuse, recycle and repurpose. It kick-started initially by sourcing from farmers, but soon the founders realised that they needed to set up their own manufacturing plants, if their business was to be scaled up.
AstuEco specialises in manufacturing products that are made from the fallen palm leaf sheaths of Areca tree. After use, the leaves are given back to the soil as a food for microbes and plants. Apart from this, there are other products made from sugarcane fibre, free of chemicals and toxins.
As a part of AstuEco, the founders have a Good Earth Astu Research (GEAR) Centre, that aims to find newer and better products that are closer to earth, bio-degradable, compostable, non-toxic, chemical-free. They are currently researching on bamboo paper, bio-plastic, and other organic products for eco-friendlier alternatives.
Shankar and Madhu are on a mission to provide a holistic approach to go green. Their product is a result of immense R&D and they are striving hard to carve out a niche for using eco-friendly products in the market.
Finances and Prices
AstuEco is currently a bootstrapped venture. The duo started with an investment of Rs. 1 crore, but now, they have the capacity to manufacture about 10,000 products a day. However, that purely depends on the ongoing demand for the products. They have already gained acclaim in countries like UK and Singapore. To fetch visibility for their YouTube channel ‘AstuEco’, the duo is also creating engaging internal videos.
Their price range varies from INR 269 to INR 319 for eco-friendly bowls, INR 199 to INR 279 for eco-friendly cutlery, and INR 209 to INR 669 for plates and trays. Compared to plastic, the prices are a bit on the higher side. But the value it adds to humanity and environment, is far greater!
AstuEco is targeting to impact around 100 crore people by 2027, through building awareness and providing an alternate to plastic.
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