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Solution
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Dharaksha Biodegradable Packaging from Agricultural Waste

New Delhi, India
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Arpit Dhupar
2 months ago

Description

For the World of Packaging, Dharaksha Ecosolutions has a customizable bio-degradable packaging material that is made out of Crop Stubble Waste which is being burnt every year after harvest. It is completely biodegradable in just 60 Days than the rest of the alternatives (Thermocol) which degrades in 4000 Years. Unlike the Conventional Packaging Material, Dharaksha’s Packaging is Cost Competitive and Superior in Strength & Surface Finish even than the current popular thermocol

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Organization

Dharaksha Ecosolutions

Budget

Impact

Social Impact: Farmers themself don't want to burn the stubble as their families are the first ones to bear the threatening smog but they are helpless! Aggregators are more than happy to buy equipment to clean fields, given the collection is bought off. 1. With our solution, we ensure fresh and cleaner air, with a contribution to air pollution of the 5th largest contributor, namely crop stubble waste, eliminated. 2. Women empowerment and employment generation for the underprivileged in the various stages of the Supply chain 3. Air pollution disproportionately hits the poor community and they incur unfulfillable expenses in medication due to health adversities caused. With our solution, the economic burden of these groups of society is also greatly reduced. Economic Impact: Additional revenue from selling crop stubble waste would provide the Farmers with another avenue to market their crop, and will eventually result in better realizations for the Farmers More jobs creation, the money realized by aggregators. More jobs are created in the manufacturing space as the process is majorly manual rather than machine-driven. Environmental Impact: While it is costly, time-consuming, and inconvenient for farmers to dispose of the large amounts of crop stubble generated from the harvest, they are also exposed to a highly degraded air quality and pollution around them because of stubble burning. The gaseous emissions can result in health risks, aggravating asthma, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. On the other hand, farming communities benefit a great deal as we buy the stubble waste from them right after the harvest. With awareness about the use of biodegradable packaging materials increasing, our product is 100 % biodegradable in just 60 days, is an excellent choice to replace plastics, and can also restore nutrients to the soil on decomposition. As per research, each tonne of crop stubble burnt releases, 54 kg of poisonous Carbon Monoxide (CO) and 1.63 kg of Nitrogen oxides(NOx), 9.5kg of GHG methane(CH4), and 19kg of choking Particulate Matter! All in addition to 1444 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Deployments

Innovation

We have developed a process to convert the crop stubble waste (Parali / Agricultural Waste) into useful biodegradable packaging material utilizing the power of biotechnology. We have created a specific mix of ingredients (all waste material) such that when the mushroom strain (developed out of wild strain native to India) is inoculated upon the mix, it starts to eat the waste mix as food and degrade lignin in the process. While the growth happens, the mycelium(root structure of fungi) completely covers the substrate material. This material is then transferred to specifically shaped moulds. When the mycelia grow inside the mould, it takes the shape of the mould and holds the substrate material very tightly together because of dense fibrous material growth. This material is finally dried in Oven to neutralize the strain. What is left is a bio-composite with properties similar to that of thermocol(polystyrene).

Timeline

Days

Pilots

For developing our product, we needed expertise in biotechnology. So we partnered with RCB (Regional Center for Biotechnology) which is the country's best biotechnology research institute. We received access to a full-fledged culture lab and resources to handle cultures, post which development and experimentation with cultures became feasible. Also, we hired MSC. Biotechnology candidate to ease the learning curve for dealing with biotechnology. Also, a very important aspect of POC is cost-effectiveness, to understand how reasonable are the numbers projected for costing on an excel sheet. To achieve that we built a small POC production plant in Delhi and did our initial sales and sampling from that unit. Validating the costing and resource model. As a POC we have made sales to small companies in the domain of honey and "ghee". Also, closed sales with giant companies like Dabur and Havells (final round discussion).

Location(s)

New Delhi, India

Website

https://www.dharaksha.com/

Resources Needed

Sectors

Sustainable Development Goals


This solution addresses the following problems.

Problem

Agricultural waste to value

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Created by Siddharth Bharadwaj


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Last Visit December 6, 2021