World Bamboo Day is observed on 18th September every year to spread awareness regarding the conservation of bamboo and promoting its sustainable utilisation. Ahead of the special day, Vaibhav Anant, Founder and CEO of sustainable packaging brand Bambrew opens up to The CSR Journal regarding plastic-free sustainable packaging being the need of the hour in the present day, how and why Bambrew was formed, and how the demand for plastic-free packaging products have gone up after the nationwide single-use plastic ban implemented by the Government of India from July 1 this year.
What is Bambrew
Bambrew is a sustainable brand, which creates eco-friendly packaging products from bamboo, sugarcane and seaweed. Talking about the same, Bambrew Founder Vaibhav Anant shared, “Bambrew produces eco-friendly packaging products that are made out of bamboo, sugarcane, and seaweed. The startup sources its raw materials from tribes in Assam, Tripura, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka. Our products can be manufactured by machines that are used to make plastic packaging.”
Inspiration behind Bambrew
What inspired Vaibhav to start Bambrew? Answering the same, the entrepreneur replied, “When the news around the plastic ban spurred, I realised that most of the plastic waste generated comes from the packaging industry, which makes around 55% of the waste generated across the globe. This distressing situation intrigued me to create an effective alternative to single-use plastic straws by using Bamboo Fibers. With this idea in mind, Bambrew was born in 2018.”
“Our mission and vision is to make Bambrew a brand in the packaging space and disrupt the terms like manufacturer or vendor. Our aim is to create a brand that people should resonate with anything and everything sustainable,” he added.
Bambrew’s clientele includes names like Zomato, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, 1MG, Puma, Chumbak, Aditya Birla and Accessorize London. However, the company is also working to serve small and medium buyers who can purchase their sustainable packaging products at a limited quantity.
“Currently, we are in the midst of developing a tech platform aimed at small and medium buyers, who aren’t able to find the right source for sustainable packaging. With this platform, the buyers will be able to purchase sustainable packaging in small quantities and can also customize as per the requirement,” Vaibhav informed.
Competing with plastic market
The market for plastic packaging is high and a major reason behind that is plastic is cheap. Commenting on the same, Vaibhav said, “Plastic products/packaging indeed is cheap and is one of the main reasons for high usage of the products. As the sustainable packaging market is relatively new, businesses are trying their best to fit in the market and provide the most sustainable options at the right price. If we compare plastic packaging, I will say it is relatively cheaper than the sustainable options but with the help of the government and their policies we soon will be able to come down as low as the plastic packaging.”
Also, plastic is waterproof. To make their packaging products waterproof, the company uses proprietary materials which are all certified by ISO 17088 through CIPET on Biodegradability and Compostability and also Certified by International bodies such as SGS and Intertek for No Plastic Presence.
Increased demand after plastic ban
With effect from July 1, 2022, the government of India has banned the manufacture, sale and use of certain single-use plastic items. This has led to businesses choosing sustainable non-plastic packaging materials over the plastic ones. Throwing light on the same, Vaibhav said, “The demand certainly has gone up, the government has imposed heavy fines on the use of SUP. The ban will be beneficial not only for businesses but mainly for the environment, as I mentioned before, the packaging industry is contributing a lot to the degradation of the environment, aquatic life, soil and quality of human life as well.”
Responsibility towards the environment
Vaibhav concluded by sharing a message for every one regarding use of plastic and our responsibility towards the environment. “We know single-use plastic is bad, we have known this for the longest time, still we chose to use plastic and I would agree that there are multiple reasons for the same. But as more options are getting available in the market, I would urge my fellow citizens to switch towards more sustainable options, not only for packaging but in all areas where we can cut the use of plastic. We as the residents of the earth hold that responsibility to keep it safe, our usage of plastic is hampering the habitat of animals, which have no role to play in the degradation or usage of these products. Not as a sustainable business owner, but as an individual who cares deeply about the environment and animals, I would just want to say that be cautious of your actions and the kind of products you are using in your day to day life,” the Bambrew head honcho signed off.