Using fallen leaves for fighting environmental pollution

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Hariyo Paat Sabaiko Sath, which roughly translates to “Green leaves for all” is an idea that came up while trying to find local solution for the increasing pollution in Dailkekh. Dilu Shrestha, Mina Shahi, Bhagwati Regmi, Delim Regni, and Urmila Neupane realized that the fallen leaves which were just being wasted could probably be used to solve this problem and the idea of “Hariyo Paat Sabaiko Sath” was conceptualized. . Find out more about their idea in this interview with the team of 5

Could you tell us about your business idea?

We are trying to solve the problem of waste management by utilizing locally available resources. We plan to make degradable plates (duna, tapari) out of fallen leaves which are locally available in abundance. The idea is to replace plastic plates with our product which is degradable and decomposable. So, once the product has been used, it can be converted into compost as well.

Who is your target customer?

Our target market is the locality of Dailekh. We are targeting street vendors like “chatpatey” sellers, canteen, weddings, and other occasions in which “Duna, Tapari” hold cultural significance. We are making the products ourselves so, we can’t provide for weddings and big events at short notice for now but it can be done if they contact us a week before the event.

How do you plan to promote your products?

We will be opting for door to door marketing to make people aware about our products and to inquire about their needs as well. We can explain them the environmental benefit of our products over plastic which they can avail at an inexpensive price. Pricing for our products may vary depending on the size but it is around Rs.60 per dozen which is pretty cheap. We will also tie up with various organizations that advocate sustainability to promote our products.

What problem are you trying to solve with your venture?

Our major concern is environmental pollution so, clearly, the social problem we are trying to address is the excessive use of plastic that majorly contributes to environmental pollution.  We get a lot of tourist in Dailekh but they are often disappointed because of the polluted environment there. So, our venture could definitely help to increase tourism.

Do you foresee any challenges for your venture?

Getting people to switch from plastic plates to plates made out of leaves would be the biggest challenge for us. We are doing everything on our own for now but when we grow, we will need more people for collection of leaves. We feel it will be challenging to convince people to work as leaf collectors. Also, threat of new entrants is also very high in this business because most of the people already know how to make “duna, tapari”.

If you win Social Business Challenge 2018, what will you use the seed fund for?

We will purchase machinery with the seed fund because we won’t be able to grow with manual labour.

You can reach Dillu Shrestha at niva.shakya@rapnepal.com.