Conserve

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Conserve

India
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Anita Ahuja has turned discarded plastic bags into a valuable resource. She combines principles from enterprise and social service in a new venture that recycles plastic waste and provides employment for ragpickers, one of the most marginalised groups in urban India. Using a proprietary process, they transform discarded plastic bags into a variety of fashionable products that are sold in high-end retail outlets abroad.  

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Anita works with ragpickers in the city of Delhi. She offers them higher incomes and an alternative to the squalor and grime of garbage dumps. Together with the ragpicker community, she is removing plastic from the waste stream and building a profitable, sustainable social venture. Anita's organization, Conserve, has created a lucrative business venture from plastic waste. It employs approximately 300 people and involves them in all aspects of the business, allowing them to build equity and learn useful skills. Through a process Anita invented, discarded plastic bags are converted into large sheets used to manufacture a range of commercially successful goods. The final products—handbags, file folders, coasters, and other household items—are marketed and sold in the luxury-goods markets, creating the potential for a shift in both how ragpickers perceive their own skills and in the public's perception of ragpickers. Conserve also is a training ground for ragpickers whom Anita encourages to start their own plastic-sheet fabrication units through an assured buyback arrangement.