A green trash bag

Arun Balachandran and Jyoti Pahadsingh, founders of greenBUG

We all know the many harmful effects plastic has on our planet. Yet, in one way or the other, we end up using plastic every day — especially for purposes like garbage disposal. Though we feel guilty, we may be limited by the choices available. This is where greenBUG, a Bengaluru-based company, steps in to offer people an eco-friendly alternative.

Founded by Arun Balachandran and Jyoti Pahadsingh, greenBUG was started to offer people practical and affordable earth-friendly alternatives to plastic dustbin liners and by extension, make it easier for people to switch to eco-friendly options. The paper-based dustbin liners began as an experiment at home. As the couple were looking for alternatives for plastic garbage bags, they zeroed in on fashioning dustbin liners out of newspapers. “Though there were many bags made out of newspaper, they were mostly for carrying grocery items. The ones needed for dustbins required to be wider at the mouth and a little narrow at the bottom while being strong enough to handle kitchen waste. Hence, arriving at a design that worked took some time,” shares Arun.

Eventually, they were able to create a paper garbage bag that was not only sturdy but also strong and flexible enough to take the shape of any dustbin. When these dustbin liners were shared with their family and friends, they received positive responses and people were willing to buy. “We got to know about greenBUG’s products through a Facebook post and we decided to try them out. As it worked out very well for us, we haven’t turned back. Doing so gives us an option to reduce our dependence on single-use plastic and contribute to a venture that supports women from low-income families,” shares Veeda Pinto Saroea, a customer. 

Arun and Jyoti were egged on by a friend to turn this into a profitable venture. While scaling up the production, Arun and Jyoti made a conscious decision to employ less-fortunate women. GreenBUG was formalised as a company in 2016. So, they began training women on how to make these bags and created a few parameters that need to be adhered to ensure quality. They have found a strong workforce in and around Bengaluru with logistical support from a local non-profit organisation. The model they have created enables the women they work with earn a living despite the constraints they may face at home, and based on the time they have at hand. So, they can make around 30 to 50 bags per hour. Around 500 to 1000 bags are made every month by each woman. The initiative stands out as it not only helps reduce plastic pollution but also ensures an entire community is financially benefited. To know more, visit www.gogreenbug.com.

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A green trash bag

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