This Noida-based start-up made India’s first 100% biodegradable bottle5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
On an average, a person uses 7 plastic bottles only for toiletries per month. This includes bottles for shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body washes and more. Imagine the amount of plastic waste generated as a collective!
We already know about the effects of plastic on the environment, and the numbers are alarming as ever!
Clearly something needs to be done.
This is where Kagzi Bottles comes in.
Kagzi Bottles, a company based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, has made a 100% biodegradable bottle as an alternative to the plastic bottles available in the market. They claim that the bottle is the first of its kind in India.
Kagzi gets its name from the Hindi word, kagaz, which means paper.
The beginning of the journey
Samiksha Ganeriwal, the founder of Kagzi Bottles, started thinking about alternatives to plastic while working on college project but it was only in 2018 that she found a way to realise her thoughts.
After completing her MBA and working across multinationals, Ganeriwal set up her own packaging company. It was while working on eco-friendly packaging for a client that the idea of Kagzi Bottles was born. She started the company in 2018 solely dedicated to finding an alternative to plastic packaging in India. In 2019, the Indian government imposed a ban on single-used plastics like spoons, bags, and cups, further necessitating the presence of an alternative.
But she met several challenges along the way.
Having had no special training in the field, Ganeriwal spent considerable time consulting product designers and scientists. The bottle was meant to be the first of its kind in India. As such, no one was quite sure how to make it!
Finding the right machinery was a task in itself. So, Kagzi Bottles had to create the machines from scratch.
Another challenge was how people felt about the bottle. It was brown and opaque and people were used to the transparent plastic bottles available abundantly in the market.
But the great thing about the Kagzi bottles is that not only is it cheaper than its plastic alternative, it also minimises the cost the environment pays for our choices!
The prototype was launched in December 2020. It contained no plastic and was fully biodegradable.
What is a prototype?
A prototype is the first or preliminary version of a product that is created to test it. A product is cleared for manufacturing after the prototype is successful.
Making of a Kagzi Bottle
A lot of companies like Coca Cola and L’Oreal are trying to minimise the use of plastic in their packaging.
But even these bottles have a thin layer of plastic to block moisture. In the image to the left, you can see how Coca Cola’s paper bottles still use plastic caps.
This is what is different about Kagzi Bottles. The bottles are made entirely out of paper waste. The waste paper is sourced from Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. It is then mixed with water and chemicals to create a pulp. This pulp is then moulded into two halves of a bottle. The two halves are then sprayed with a solution that has water-resistant properties similar to that of banana leaves. These two halves are then glued together.
The bottles are priced at 19 INR to 22 INR. Currently, the start-up produces 2,00,000 bottles every month!
The road ahead
Kagzi Bottles currently produce bottles for shampoos, lotions, and conditioners. They are now working on creating packaging for food and beverages. They are also planning on setting up manufacturing units in four Indian cities to boost the production of their unique product.
Watch Samiksha Ganirewal walk you through the journey of Kagzi Bottles:
An intiative like Kagzi Bottles goes to show that there are ways to reconcile our needs with that of the environment’s. All it needs is a little thought and a whole lot of dedication.
With excerpts from The Better India
(The Buzz is a fortnightly column that explores bright ideas that became reality)