Nominated by Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
In India, every year 0.4 billion devotees go to temples/mosques to worship and showering flowers to Gods is a religious ritual. It is believed that these sacrosanct flowers should be discarded in holy rivers to maintain their sanctity. Sadly, these flowers rot and create havoc in ecosphere of water bodies. Toxic Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium from farm-runoff, insecticides and pesticides used to grow flowers mixes with river water making it highly toxic. Apart from this, crop stubble burning is an upcoming tornado in India. More than 100 million tons of straw is generated annually from wheat and paddy farms. After the crop is harvested, 80% of the stubble remains are burnt in fields to make the farm ready for next crop cycle. This has led to legal penalties against farmers and severe air pollution.
Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd. collects flower and farm waste and upcycles them into sustainable products for creating a better planet for generations to come. The company has developed ‘Florafoam’-biodegradable alternative to world’s 5th biggest pollutant Styrofoam. Florafoam is the world’s first home-compostable solution for single-use packaging and solution to three-fold problem- environmental pollution, waste disposal and socio-economic sustainability. KFPL employs manual scavenger women for flower collection, sorting, and processing. In Uttar Pradesh, India there are over 17,500 families engaging in the degrading practice, the company strives to break the idea of untouchability. The mission is to reduce vulnerabilities affecting the planet and our lives, by providing innovative solutions to waste and engineering sustainable products.