On June 6th 2019, we met Shaila Gurudutt, an ex-IBMer converted to sustainable development entrepreneurship. Shaila and her husband launched a WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) recycling project called Rashi E Waste 8 years ago, which offers solutions for recycling companies’ electronic waste. Today, while her husband continues to manage the company Rashi E Waste, Shaila and a former colleague, named Lakshmi Bheemachar, have embarked on a new start-up called EdiblePro.
Plastic is the most used cheap alternate material in the food sector, but it is possible to reduce its share or even to make it disappear from your plate, literally! EdiblePro offers consumers an alternative to plastic by producing edible cutlery and containers. The production unit is in Bangalore employs 9 women. The concoction, technology and methodology is one of its kind and the ingredients used are a blend of millet, pulses, grains, spices, and natural ingredients like vegetables and fruits to add natural flavor and color. Depending on the variant, the products have different properties, thus enables to propose three different ranges :
Millet is a cereal known for its high nutritional value. By incorporating this cereal & olden days herbs, leaves, and roots into the preparation, Shaila hopes to provide a solution to the malnutrition that remains a major public health issue in the country.
EdiblePro works on request, there are more than 36 combinations of shapes, tastes and colors. Shaila has launched its products internationally & PAN India. They are on a sales platform like Amazon. With transport and distribution time of up to 6 months, the products have been designed with a shelf life of up to 2 years, although only 1 year is listed on the label as a safety measure. For now EdiblePro has sent its edible cutlery to Germany, Malaysia, the USA, and several countries including Latin America. The launch phase of the products is still in progress. Adapting to customer demand allows greater creativity and the current operation of EdiblePro wants this flexibility to avoid monotony. However, Shaila hopes to be able to rationalize the production of bestsellers.
Other challenges are still to be met: the cutlery packaging is in plastic to enable vaccum packing, which enhances the shelf life. Shaila is currently looking for another solution, of which paper seems to be a good option. In addition the water used for utility remains bought water in plastic bottles where she is also working on alternatives. (Access to drinking water in India is also a major issue). Bypass the use of plastic for consumers while using plastic, a contradiction that will certainly find its resolution in a global systemic change.
Copyright CirculAgronomie 2020