Indore based students launched Plamet, a startup that helps in reducing plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is one of the major contributors to climate change, while the size of plastic pollutants can vary from big to microscopic. It not only pollutes the environment but also affects our health and yet we cannot seem to stop using it. A report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) says 'India generates over 3.3 million metric tons of plastic waste each year'.
But not everyone is ignorant, This Indore based startup Launched by two students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) — Sunny Goyal and Unnati Mittal, is helping in reducing the impact of hazardous plastic. They develop material from plastic waste that can be used to build furniture and items for interior decoration.
It was during a camping trip to the Amarkantak Hills in Madhya Pradesh just before the pandemic, where Sunny and Unnati realised that all the food shops were serving them in plastic packaging.
“This packaging was only of one-time use and most tourists were thrashing it away and polluting the surroundings. We saw animals eating the leftovers and consuming the plastic packaging,” says Sunny.
And when they got to know that the locals burnt the plastic and polyethene along with wood during winters for heat, without even realising that they are polluting the environment and producing harmful gas emissions.
“Unnati and I then decided to do something to fix this problem and we arrived at the concept of Plament,” says Sunny.
Before zeroing on the concept of Plament, the duo started thinking of everything that can be done with plastic waste and stumbled upon the idea of reusing it as a new material to make designer furniture.
They developed their prototype at their campus, NMIMS Indore. Their mentor and faculty, Dr Rajarshi Sarkar helped them with the required permission to use the chemistry lab. Within a few months of testing and trials, they developed the material from plastic.
“We have done different tests on the prototype to understand its properties like the resistance test (water and heat), strength test, and durability test. Products are beautifully textured, feel like marble, and available in different textures and colours. The base of the products is stainless steel or wood, which give them weight and support. The raw material or plastic waste needed to make an 18 KG product needs 30-32 KG of plastic,” explains Sunny.
They aim to eradicate plastic waste by producing eco-friendly, attractive, and useful products from it. The name "Plament" itself is a combination of the word plastic and management.
“This is environmentally friendly throughout because even if the product is incapable or fractured, the material can be used to produce a new product again. Therefore, it is a constant recycling process,” says Co-founder Sunny.
Plament Has raised Rs 3 lakh from the founders’ friends and family to get started. The startup has also been picked by Wadhwani Foundation’s NEN NextGen programme to help kick start its journey. To scale further.
Plament claims to have sold its product to furniture makers in Indore and has a pipeline of a profit of Rs 12 lakh for FY 2021-22.
"Due to the second wave of COVID-19, manufacturing had to be put on hold. But Plament has received an order for 120 tables from a Blind Children’s School, and plans to execute the same at the earliest” says Unnati.
Currently, the startup is managed by the two founders only. But in the future, they have planned to hire at least 15 skilled team members who could effectively perform operations immediately after the pandemic situation improves.