Elimination of single-use plastics in the food and beverage industry as well as its replacement with reusable alternatives is a hot topic. Little wonder then that 17 startups are fighting it out to find a solution. From tableware made of coconut fiber to water bottles made of recycled paper, these innovations are at the center of Goa’s hospitality sector’s fight to reduce single-use plastic.
The single-use plastics challenge is funded by the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development and is being implemented in Goa by the Goa Institute of Management’s Atal Incubation Center (AIC) in partnership with the Climate Collective Foundation (CCF).
The challenge kicked off with 68 applicants from all over India vying for an opportunity to fund their ideas, of which AIC and CCF have shortlisted 17 startups, including a Goan startup – Kasoi.
“The 17 selected startups are now part of a mentoring process that will last over a period of 12 weeks. The next round will shortlist the numbers down to six startups by July 15. The teams will then be given a chance to run a pilot for the Tata Group,” said chief executive officer of AIC-GIM foundation Rajesh Joshi.
The Tata Group’s hospitality firm Indian Hotels Co Ltd aims to eliminate single-use plastic across all its resorts by 2030. The consumption of single-use plastics in the food and beverage industry grew during the pandemic and is now expanding at a 2.5-fold rate.
“As a company we want to put a strong emphasis on sustainability as a way of life for everyone, which thus culminates in the adoption of a variety of sustainable business methods. We are happy to collaborate with the AIC-GIM foundation and CCF for the global single-use plastic challenge which will reduce the usage of single-use plastics across our properties in Goa,” said IHCL’s area director and senior vice president Vincent Ramos.
The six startups that are shortlisted will receive funding to design their proof of concept and roll out the pilot project. They are trying to find sustainable alternatives for items such as cling wrap, garbage bags, plastic water bottles, laundry bags, vegetable supply bags, plastic soap and shampoo dispensers, cutlery, straws, tableware, plastic food containers and other products.
“Insights from their pilots will contribute to a study on understanding the environmental impacts of alternatives to single-use plastic,” said CCF country head Pratap Raju.