What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
We all noticed from years ago the amount of garbage dumped in or around our cities also we realized that some part of that garbage is going to resist longer than we live. The moment we decided to do something was when a law was voted in Romania stating that plastic bags can not be given for free anymore. Stores had to sell the non degradable bags to their customers for a minimum amount of money. So it appeared a new plastic called oxo degradable plastic. Stores started to promote the bags made from this plastic as bio even if it's not. This kind of plastic brakes into small pieces in the presence of air but it is not biodegradable, it does not integrate back in the nature. We saw that there was very few 100% natural bags so we thought that we want to help and give another option to the public.
We knew we wanted to do this business as sustainable as possible so another defining moment was when we meet wit "Workshop Without Borders" and they wanted to be a part of our project and help us in putting together an workshop where people in great difficulty could be involved.
In April 2009 we decided to start the market research and the business plan. As everything looked good, we decided to start this economic activity and on 7th of September we started the work in our workshop with 2 employees.
Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.
The social innovator is ViitorPlus - The Association for Sustainable Development.
Life played its mysterious game and, at the beginning of 2006, three people - Teia Gavrilescu (Catană), Teodora Pălărie şi Mircea Ilie got together around a shared dream: starting an organization that would contribute to a better, more sustainable world.
A few elements contributed to start-up things at the beginning:
* SHARING - ideas, dreams, hopes, experiences honestly and deep inside from our beings
* DECIDING TO PUT INTO PRACTICE what we wanted for a long time already and start organizing it
* LEGAL and CONCEPTUAL START-UP - finding out the legal procedures, deciding responsibles for each part, doing it.
* FOUNDERS MEETINGS work on the status, decide the legal form (association instead of foundation based on the existing Romanian law), choose the name - ViitorPlus (FuturePlus), first ideas of activities.
* SHARING WITH OTHERS - ideas, dreams, hopes, experiences honestly and deep inside from our beings, in a way that inspired and attracted other close people with similar views - Marcio Jappe, Jeremy Moses, Anca Soare Minea, Dan Vlad, Ionut Enache, Monia Martini, Cristian Lacraru, Ramona and Ofelia Constantinescu, Luiza Dumitrescu...
* 1:1 personal meetings with each of them where apart from sharing we explored the possibilities of working together in the newly founded NGO (during and after the AIESEC Alumni Hall of fame with Ionut, at a pub in Cismigiu with Cristi, by emails and phone with Marcio and after long talks in Amsterdam, at Carturesti tea house with Jeremy, at "Arcade" and "Cafeneau Actorilor" with Anca, etc)
* REGULAR NGO MEETINGS where we started discussing the first project and organizing it.
ViitorPlus was founded to stimulate and contribute at putting in practice the concept of sustainable development at individual, community and organizational level.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Through another organization or company
If through another source, please provide the information