Best out of coir waste

The result of the research and development during this time was a “sustainable material that was a combination of coir and biopolymer. The latter replaced plastic as it mimicked the properties, while also being biodegradable and compostable as it was made from plant waste” says Ardra Nair.

20 Mar 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

Sustainability has been the recent mantra for all the blooming start ups.

Supported by recent data by NITI Aayog, estimated from the years 2019 to 2021, India’s score in its sustainable development goals (SDGs) rose from 60 to 66 as the country amped up efforts for clean water initiatives and energy efficiency.

To indulge in sustainable initiatives, Kerala-based Greenamor Ventures — a sustainable venture founded by Ardra Nair in 2021 found solutions that focuses on eco-packaging while solving the issue of global waste management by upcycling locally available coir.

Nair was pursuing her master’s in engineering in Kerala when Greenamor Ventures took birth as her brain child. During this period, Nair was selected for the prestigious BIRAC social innovation fellowship. She decided to create a project that would in the coming years change the face of how waste was perceived.

“There used to be a dump yard outside the hostel that was perpetually filled with cosmetic packaging. No matter how many times the waste was cleared off, it would rebuild through the days. This was no surprise as the building’s inhabitants were all young girls,” said Nair. 

“I was intrigued by the amounts of coir waste generated in industries across Kerala. In Alappuzha alone, there are manufacturing industries which use large amounts of coir as the by-product. The coir fibres range from 1 to 2-mm in size and eventually pollute the landfills. My first thought was ‘why not design a project wherein these fibres could be used to create something of value?’ But then, the question was ‘what?’,” she added.

“I discovered this during a trip to Ladakh and Kashmir. It was tough to ignore the disposed of packaging in the pristine water bodies. It dawned on me that just like the coir waste, this too would end up in landfills, so it got me thinking that maybe I could tie both the problems together to come up with a solution that would benefit more people.”

This propelled Nair in the direction of coming up with eco-packaging for cosmetic products, which in the following months also went on to include food and pharmaceutical containers.

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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