Pune Startup Creates World’s First Recycled Sunglasses from Discarded Chip Packets to Address Multi-Layered Plastic Waste Challenge
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A Pune-based startup has launched what it claims to be the world’s first recycled sunglasses made entirely from multi-layered plastics (MLP) – discarded packets of chips. Anish Malpani, the founder of the social impact start-up Ashaya, announced the launch of the recycled sunglasses on Twitter yesterday. According to Indian Express, Malpani spent two years researching and creating recycled sunglasses from MLP in a Pune laboratory.
Malpani’s aim was to solve the problem of MLP, which is notoriously difficult to recycle. MLP is made by fusing multiple materials together, which poses a serious threat to the environment. These plastics are most commonly used in packaging food items such as the packets of chips that Malpani used to create his line of recycled sunglasses.
Working towards Sustainability while addressing a Social Cause
To make his venture possible, Malpani and his team worked directly with waste pickers to collect discarded packets of chips. They earned money by selling the packets to the start-up, which in turn has used them to create the world’s first recycled sunglasses. A video explaining the concept behind the sunglasses revealed that the money earned from the sunglasses would be used to pay waste pickers better and fund the education of their children.
The sunglasses, which were launched under the brand name WITHOUT, are UV polarized, unisex, and weigh just over 25 grams. Customers can scan a QR code on the side of the sunglasses to see how many packets were used to manufacture them, which waste pickers collected the packets, and more.
Malpani said a beta version of the sunglasses has been launched at a special price of Rs 1,099. Ashaya promises that these sunglasses are unbreakable. And if you do manage to break them, the startup will collect and recycle them again.
An Innovative Steps
The creation of sunglasses is an innovative solution to the growing problem of waste that is difficult to recycle. According to a report by the United Nations, over 90% of the plastic ever produced has not been recycled. Moreover, most plastic waste ends up in landfills or the environment, where it can take hundreds of years to decompose.
This initiative not only addresses the issue of waste disposal, but also provides a sustainable way of generating income for waste pickers, who are often part of India’s informal economy. By paying them for the discarded packets of chips, Ashaya is not only creating employment opportunities but also contributing to their social welfare.
Speaking about the launch, Malpani said: “It’s the hardest thing I have ever been a part of, but it’s also the most rewarding. We have created something that is not just environmentally friendly, but also socially impactful. We hope that other companies will be inspired by our example and create more innovative solutions to the problems we face.”
The launch of the recycled sunglasses has garnered much interest on social media. Many people have praised the start-up for its innovative approach to solving the problem of MLP waste. With the success of the beta version, Ashaya hopes to expand its range of recycled products and make a meaningful impact on both the environment and society.