Look around, and you will see a world filled with plastic, a material that will not decompose for the next 500 years. Plastic is everywhere, and it promises to stay around for a while. Ved Krishna was troubled by this very thought and decided to change things for his paper company.
Ved inherited Yash Papers his family-run paper business in 1999. The company manufactured pharmaceutical papers, paper bags for food chains like McDonalds and sugar sachets for coffee chains like Café Coffee Day.
In 2009, Ved had an epiphany about the amount of garbage his factory was indirectly generating. He realised that most of the paper manufactured by the company was covered in plastic, cellophane or was laminated, and would not decompose for the next few centuries. That acted as a turning point in his career and marked the conception of CHUK, a company that manufactures biodegradable tableware.
CHUK, which launched in 2017, makes products from agricultural residues.
All the plates, bowl, containers and lids they manufacture are biodegradable while being efficient too. Their tableware is microwave, oven, and freezer friendly.
“Regarding manufacturing, we are aware that eco-friendly products do have their drawbacks when it comes to sealing the products, the risk of leakage etc. However, we have done extensive R&D and made necessary changes in our manufacturing process and technique to produce strong modular designs with quality that will be better than plastic,” Ved told YourStory.
Chuk has now collaborated with big names in the food market like Vaango, Paradise Biryani Group, Bitto Tikka and Foodpanda.
“After studying the market extensively, the company decided to keep the products brown, and untreated with chemicals,” says Ved.
“The products are more like Lego pieces, which fit into each other and have multiple uses. For example, the containers can be used as bowls or even trays.”
In 1995, Yash Papers had already installed a power plant that generated electricity from rice husks. They are still the only compostable tableware manufacturer, who get all their electricity from bio-fuel. In 2007, Yash Papers bought an advanced pulp mill which made them the only pulp-to-product manufacturers of compostable tableware in the world!
“Chuk is a group of passionate individuals who believe that our everyday work can make a huge impact on our community,” says Ved.“50% of the new CHUK plant is staffed by village women, and some of them are specially-abled. You can do business and do good!”