Couple Turns Plastic Waste Into Plates And Earns Rs 2 Lakh A Month With Their Startup, Papla In Kerala

Mad4Nature By Chaithra B S | 3 min read


Plastic wastes are a major threat to the environment, to save the earth this couple left the UAE and returned to India to start a biodegradable tableware and bag business using Areca Leaves.

Engineer Devakumar Narayanan lived in the United Arab Emirates for four years, working a 9-5 corporate job and living a fast-paced lifestyle. Soon after his wife Saranya joined him, the arduous pace and lifestyle that his job demanded had the couple yearning to return to their native Kerala.

As a result, they returned to Kasaragod in 2018 with the intention of launching their own company.

UAE To India, To Turn Plastic Waste Into Useful Products

They had always intended to create their own business, but the couple wasn’t sure what it would be. As a result, they began brainstorming concepts that matched their interests. One thing they were certain of was that it should be a socially responsible corporation with a good cause to save the earth from plastic waste.

Image – Facebook

They began exploring locally available and natural raw materials that may be their USP after deciding to enter the manufacturing industry.

They reduced it down to Arecanut leaf sheaths, colloquially known as Paala, after studying a variety of choices. Arecanut trees abound in Kasaragod, making the product more accessible. They are also environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and a viable alternative to plastic utensils and can reduce plastic waste enormously.

Papla Makes A Turnover Of Rs 2 lakh/Month

They started looking for a brand name that was relevant and matched their business purpose after they finalized the concept of making Arecanut products to reduce plastic waste. Plastic and paper can both be replaced with Arecanut leaf sheaths. By adopting the notion of less paper and less plastic they christened it ‘Papla.’

Image – Facebook

Papla, which was founded in 2018, currently produces everything from crockery to grow bags made of Arecanut leaf sheaths, with a monthly turnover of Rs 2 lakh. These products are meant to lessen the use of plastic products in our daily use and turn down the plastic waste quantity on earth.

Devakumar and Saranya quickly established a small manufacturing company near their home in Madikai panchayat, which presently employs seven people.

Sheaths are primarily sourced from Kasaragod, with some from Karnataka. They purchase them after ensuring their quality and compensate the producers based on several parameters such as variety, size, and so on.

The sheaths are only collected when they fall off the trees; otherwise, they are never collected.

The sheaths are only available during the Arecanut tree’s flowering season. The seasonal availability of Arecanut leaf sheaths is one of the obstacles to employing them.

They were only able to find them for six months out of the year. As a result, they must guarantee that they have sufficient supplies for the remainder of the year. This necessitates a large storage space, which we have provided in conjunction with their unit.

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Papla’s products mostly consist of tableware such as plates, bowls, and spoons. They have plates ranging in size from 4 inches to 10 inches, shallow and deep bowls, spoons, and other dinnerware in various sizes and forms. They also personalize them in response to customer demands.

Image – Facebook

Papla also creates packaging for handcrafted soaps, badges, hats, hand-fans, grow bags, and wedding invitations, in addition to dinnerware. The grow bags are produced by hand. The sheaths are woven together to create them. Because the sheath is biodegradable, they can’t guarantee longevity. They recommend using them for a limited time while giving a plant or sapling that can be replanted.

Papla’s best-selling tableware is priced between Rs 1.50 and Rs 10. Handmade items such as grow bags and hats cost Rs 40 and Rs 100, respectively. They accept orders via the website as well as by phone.

Weddings Invite Printed On Leaf Sheaths

Wedding invitations printed on these leaf sheaths were just introduced by the company. Instead of using paper, they use UV printing technology to print wedding invitations on sheaths. Other than that, when creating badges for events and functions, utilize the same technology. It’s a good alternative to standard plastic bags and will curb plastic waste.

Image – Facebook

They aid several other small local units that work on acrecanut leaf sheaths by providing them with a location to market their products in addition to manufacturing the items in their micro-unit. There are perhaps 20 comparable businesses in the area that are battling to find consumers for their wares. As a result, they aid them in improving the quality of their product by teaching and assisting them, as well as finding a market.

Image – Facebook

They export their products on a limited scale and hope to extend their business into handicrafts in the future. They are also experimenting with various natural raw materials such as banana fibers, coconut shells, and so on.

If you want to know more about Papla – Instagram

If you loved reading this story, you can also read Kiru Maikkapillai Left Well-Paid Job In The US To Launch The Divine Foods, Startup That Sells Organic Turmeric

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