Plastic Ban: Eco-Brands Make Hay With Wooden Products

The ban on single-use plastic from July 1 has become an opportunity for eco-solution providers, who are seeing an increase in demand for their products. Offering innovative alternatives to plastic like biodegradable trash bags, bamboo toothbrushes to wooden cutlery, trays, stirrers, ice cream scoops, reusable paper towels, sustainable product manufacturers have increased production by result.

Chuk, the flagship brand of Yash Pakka Limited, one of the pioneers in the sustainable packaging industry for the past 40 years, has grown around 50% year-on-year in terms of income. Anticipating a surge in demand since the government’s draft ban notification was issued in March 2021, production was ramped up last October and 30% more capacity was added to the plant’s production unit. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Production in FY 2020-21 was 10 tonnes per day, which was increased to 14 tonnes per day in FY 2021-22, a 40% increase in production on a daily basis .

“Anticipating the phenomenal demand that we will witness over the next few months, an increase in production capacity is in place,” said Satish Chamyvelumani, CEO and Business Leader, Chuk.

“While the industry has seen 30% growth in the past six months, we easily expect 2-3x growth in the sector over the next year,” Chamyvelumani added.

Vaibhav Anant, Bengaluru-based founder and CEO of Bambrew, a sustainable packaging brand that makes products from bamboo and wood for Amazon and Nykaa, among others, says it was up 40% month-on-month other since 2018 and expect more than $10 million in revenue this fiscal year.

The increase in demand has been exponential for Beco, an eco-friendly household cleaning and kitchen brand that has seen 5x year-on-year growth as consumers have become more aware of their choices and preferring natural and safer products for their homes. . Beco offers products made from bamboo, corn starch and vegetable ingredients, which makes the production of the products sustainable, from the supply of raw materials to the final product. The brand has launched home cleaning liquids and plans to launch laundry detergent sheets that contain no harmful chemicals.

“Eco-friendly products, such as the reusable bamboo kitchen towel, are made from 100% organic bamboo extract. It is one of the most versatile materials that regrows in four months and does not affect so not the environment,” said Akshay Varma, co-founder of Beco.

During the March-May period, searches for timber and bamboo merchants on the Just Dial search engine jumped 35%, with peak demand for timber merchants. Nearly 80% of searches were for timber merchants and the rest for bamboo, reports the latest consumer insights from Just Dial. The report saw demand rise for a wide range of wooden cutlery including spoons, knives and forks, wooden trays, wooden stirrers, wooden ice cream scoops and bamboo sticks.

Commenting on the trends, Prasun Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer at Just Dial, said, “Sustainability is now at the heart of businesses and is bringing changes all along the funnel. Just Dial has aggregated a large base of timber and bamboo merchants on the platform. Searches for timber and bamboo dealers in Tier I cities increased by 22% and 29% in Tier II. »

Delhi leads in demand for timber merchants and, along with Mumbai, contributed nearly 50% of searches among Tier I cities. Kolkata saw the peak spike in demand at 22% for timber merchants. Delhi also tops the demand for bamboo merchants, with Mumbai and Bangalore in second and third place, respectively. Among Tier II cities, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Guwahati, Lucknow, and Jalandhar were the top five with maximum searches for timber and bamboo merchants.

Among wood and bamboo products, the highest demand was for wooden spoons. Demand for wooden spoons was highest in Mumbai and Delhi among Tier I cities with Bangalore in third place. Moradabad, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Lucknow were the top five Tier II cities with maximum demand for wooden spoons. Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai generated peak demand for bamboo sticks among Tier I cities. Aligarh, Rajkot, Ajmer, Guwahati and Mangalore were the top five Tier II cities with peak demand.

However, with growing demand, input costs have also risen significantly in the recent past, even though manufacturers have tried not to pass the price hike on to the consumer. “Product prices have increased by about 10%, but we hope that input costs will not increase further. There is a marginal cost difference between the price of our products and the price of good plastic. However, with cheaper quality plastic products, the price difference is around 20%,” said Chamyvelumani of Chuk.

According to industry estimates, the unit cost of a paper straw is 30-40 paise, while that of plastic is 10-15 paise. On the other hand, the current price of polypropylene (PP) plastic pellets is Rs 115 per kg, while biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) is Rs 425 per kg, making the alternative 400% expensive. Non-availability is also an issue. As Bhavesh Bhojani, Secretary of the Thermoformers & Allied Industries Association (TAIA) pointed out, “Compared to the global need for single-use plastics, available alternative manufacturing is less than 2% of total needs. Any new project will take at least two to three years to catch up with the increasing demands, making the transition from plastics to alternative biodegradable materials only possible in a gradual way.

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