‘Phool Wali Diwali’: This Start-Up Recycles 13 tons of Temple Flower Waste By Using  ‘Flowercycling’ Technology

Business Innovation By Chaithra B S | 2 min read

From its inception against the backdrop of a polluted Ganga river to attracting a slew of investors, Phool’s mission is to push the fragrance sector to the forefront.

Imagine repurposing old flowers to create something special. Phool.co, a sustainable and eco-friendly startup, is converting flower waste into incense sticks gearing up to create alternative leather that has the potential to disrupt the fashion game. 

Phool incense is renowned by its wonderful natural smells and stunning packaging. The concept of producing incense and bio-leather from discarded flowers to help keep our rivers clean, create a compassionate alternative to leather, and empower women in India. 

Image: Phool.co

Flowers are commonly offered to temples as a form of devotion in India, over eight million tonnes of these offerings wind up in the nation’s rivers each year. 

Phool: Here Is How It All Started

Image: Phool.co

Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar came up with the concept of recycling flowers after visiting the Ganga Ghats and being aware of the dangers of temple flowers carrying pesticides and insecticides. They intended to meet with temple waste management and present their recycling flower idea. Following a year and a half of study, products such as the incense cone and vermicompost were launched.

“It was Makara Sankranti, an Indian festival commemorating the ending of the winter solstice, which was celebrated by swimming in the sacred Ganges. On that chilly winter morning in 2015, a friend who was visiting me in Kanpur expressed an desire in seeing the Ganges Ghats,” Ankit said on Phool’s website.

Image: Shopify.com

Something needed to be done about it. In their search for the proper chance, they discovered that most “We sat by the Ghats, surrounded by people practicing Suryanamaskaras, and were astounded to see devotees drinking and bottling up river water despite the obvious pollution. Despite being one of India’s most respected water bodies, we began to question why this river was becoming carcinogenic and whether it was us, the worshipers, who had turned against the river,” he further added.

of the flowers that wind up at temples include herbicides and insecticides.

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When the chemicals reach the river, they wash off, combining with the water, forming poisonous compounds, reducing the oxygen level, and endangering marine life.

Image: Phool.co

The Goal To Recycle The Flower Waste

Phool was established when they recognized their goal was to recycle the garbage from places of worship.

The thought of reusing discarded flowers looked absurd to the uninitiated. They had to work hard to get our notion of recycling temple debris through because no one was prepared to listen or give up their floral waste. But once the ball started moving, our basic notion turned into a scream.

They experimented for hours, meeting with various parties and selling the notion of controlling temple garbage across the country.

The idea for and creation of flowercycled incense took more than a year and a half, as well as endless hours in a temporary laboratory. The objective of preserving the Ganges and empowering vernacular people by offering a means of earning a living became a reality.

Currently, the Kanpur-based company gathers waste from three cities, which includes one of the country’s greatest temple, Kashi Vishwanath, avoiding 13 tons of flower wastes and dangerous substances from reaching the river each day.


Women’s organizations convert the trash into patented charcoal-free incense sticks and fragrant oils using the ‘flower cycle’ process. About 73 women take part in this process and have been provided full-time employment to make their living.

Phool.co entered the centuries-old incense sector by bringing innovation.

Their Mission

Their goal of protecting the Ganges River and giving vulnerable women in communities a way to support themselves. 

This Diwali, go green and buy eco-friendly incense sticks to get natural fragrance. Go check out their website.

If you loved reading this story, you can also check One Innovation At A Time! Meet The Couple Who Recycles 10000 Tonnes of Waste Every Month.

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