There is a common saying on social media that goes like this: “You can do all things, after all, it’s garbage can and not garbage cannot”. Of course, its supposed to be the millennial way of motivating others, but one look at these brands, and you know that there is more to it than #justsaying. Below, we catalogue brands that have put their money where their mouth is, and have actually done something about cashing in on trash.


Cigarette waste management and recycling is an unexplored segment, and known to very few. Starting with a small oce in Noida, Code Effort Private Limited gradually expanded its wings to become India’s leading cigarette waste management and recycling company. The collected cigarette waste is processed and recycled at the factory using confidential chemical composition and machineries in the most environmentally responsible manner, by trained staff. The recycled cigarette waste is used to manufacture handicrafts, soft toys, cushions, mosquito repellents, and mattresses, to name a few. “A single cigarette butt can contaminate more than one litre of water, if disposed incorrectly, and takes more than 10 years to decompose naturally. We have eradicated more than 250 million cigarette butts from our environment,” says Naman Gupta, the founder of the enterprise.


Malai is a newly developed bio-composite material based on Bacterial Cellulose and natural fibres. The core of the brand is about returning whatever is borrowed from nature, in a manner that doesn’t create any accumulation of waste, or toxins. Many of their main ingredients come from agricultural waste streams such as water from mature coconuts and banana stem fibre. The brand oers bags, wallets, purses, clothes, and a number of interior products like pillows, storage boxes, stationary items, wall panelling, blinds and lamp shades. “We have started the second phase of research focused on improving the mechanical properties of Malai, and we would also like to concentrate more on developing our own brand of accessories,” says founder Zuzana Gombosova about the future of the brand.


Gem Enviro Management recycles all kinds of plastic waste from manufacturing plants, hotels, oce spaces, and the roadside, and promotes and sells recycled merchandise such as T-shirts, backpacks, and caps. They also assist companies to fulfil their EPR requirements as per PWM 2016 and amendments, besides organising various campaigns to promote sustainability and recycling. “We are now collecting and recycling more than 100,000 MT of plastic waste every year. Further, we are helping more than 10,000 waste-pickers by ensuring their higher incomes and general welfare,” says Sachin Sharma, director of the organisation.


Phool began with a hope to trigger a change. They handcraft organic products from temple flowers, preserving the river Ganges, and providing better employment opportunities to underrepresented women. Till date, the initiative has “flowercycled” more than 2,753 metric tonnes of temple flowers, and transformed over 173 lives in the process. Now, the brand is set to launch the first bio-alternative to thermocol, the fifth biggest pollutant in the world, made from temple flowers. Phool oers pure organic incense sticks, incense cones, and vermicompost made from temple flowers unlike the charcoal-based incenses currently available in the market. “We will soon have bambooless incense, yoga incense, and many other incense ranges not yet explored in the Indian market,” says Apurv Misal, Head-Marketing & Sales, Phool.