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Directory of Zero Waste2019-10-04T12:18:25+05:30

ZERO WASTE BENGALURU ROADMAP AND DIRECTORY

Contents

 Introduction

  • What is the Zero Waste Bengaluru Challenge (ZWBC) and why should I care?
  • Claiming your consumer power to make Bengaluru a Zero Waste city!
  • How to use this website
  • Disclaimer

Roadmap to Zero Waste

  • Tips for beginners: How to create your own roadmap to zero waste
    • Individuals
    • Organizations
    • Events

Directory of Zero Waste Resources in Bengaluru

Waste Management Laws

INTRODUCTION

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly.

We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Anne-Marie Bonneau

What is the Zero Waste Bengaluru Challenge (ZWBC) and why should I care?

Imagine if Bengaluru produced zero waste. This might look like the following –

  • Bengaluru produces about 5000 tons of waste each day, of which about 60% is organic compostable material (Economic Times). Imagine if all this wet waste was composted into rich and healthy soil for our urban and rural farms and gardens.
  • Dry waste would be drastically reduced because of the switch from toxic materials like plastic to reusables and compostables. The little dry waste that is produced – paper, glass, metal, etc. would be efficiently recycled into new material that can return to the economy.
  • Hazardous waste would be minimized as much as possible and recovered through innovative and specialized processes.
  • The city would be clean, beautiful, healthy, safe, and livable. Air, water, and land would be cleaner. There would be no black spots of garbage dumps festering pests, mosquitoes, rodents, and disease.
  • The city government would save a huge amount of money on collection and transportation of garbage, and instead welcome more wealth creation from the local circular economy and the new jobs it would bring.
  • Bengaluru could claim to be a lovely garden city again.

Sounds too utopian? Setting the goal of becoming “Zero Waste Bengaluru” might seem exciting in theory to many Bengalureans, but too idealistic and impractical in reality. But think about it this way – so many of our current issues surrounding waste begin with the behavior of consumers and the powerful businesses and politicians that cater to consumer demands.

In India and Bengaluru, there is strong and growing momentum on waste and plastic reduction laws. What if each individual, organization, building, and campus decided to make changes within their own lifestyles and operations to transition to zero/low waste? Then one household, building, and campus at a time, we would surely become a zero waste city!

The Zero Waste Bengaluru Challenge (ZWBC) invites all Bengalureans to get actively involved in taking a step towards a zero city. In this Directory, we provide roadmaps and resources  so that any Bengalurean can begin with the smallest step and we can collectively have a huge impact over time.

Before we get into how we can all go zero waste, let’s understand what zero waste (or circular economy) means, so we can visualize our goal. In this guide, we define zero waste as –

  • A journey towards ensuring that zero (or as close to zero as possible) waste is sent to the landfill, water bodies, or air – i.e., no waste is irresponsibly discarded or openly burned.
  • Instead, all waste is a resource that can be repurposed indefinitely by –
    • Increasing it’s reusability
    • Increasing options to compost, recycle (ucycle), or otherwise turn into a valuable resource at the product’s end of life

One responsible consumer choice at a time, we start putting our money, actions, and incentives into products and practices that enable this circular model and produce no waste.

Claiming  your consumer power to make Bengaluru a Zero Waste city!

Sometimes, it may seem like politicians or corporations run the world, but ultimately everyone caters to the demands, behaviors, and money of consumers. If a large number of individuals and organizations begin to demand products and services that are environmentally sustainable and ethical, the big economies of the world will have to adapt. This is already happening in many parts of the world. We can catalyze this change in Bengaluru by organizing all consumers to choose wisely and support responsible businesses. We can vote with our money for a better world and a more just economy.

How to use this website

There is a lot of work happening in Bangalore today on waste management and circular economy.

The purpose of this website is to –

  • Collect and organize this information in a simple way for beginners to learn about their options
  • To provide any individual, organization, building, or campus in the city a roadmap to begin or continue their zero waste journey – no matter where they stand with current waste management practices.
  • To highlight products, services, and best practices from Bengaluru that can help us achieve our goal of zero waste – so that we put our money into our local circular economy and create good, green jobs for our fellow citizens.

You may use this website in the following ways –

  • Review to be informed and inspired about how you can help create a zero waste Bengaluru
  • Use the tools – knowledge, protocols, resources to begin your own zero waste journey
  • Share this with your community so they can do the same
  • Write to us if you have ideas and resources to share. This is a living website and we hope to regularly update it to include new resources so that Bengalureans have all the great options!

Disclaimer

The sole intent of this website is to provide any interested party in Bengaluru a roadmap to begin or continue their journey towards zero waste, while also highlighting some well known resources that they can explore as less wasteful alternatives to conventional products and practices.

This is a crowdsourced resource, not an exhaustive list of businesses, products, and services working in the low/zero waste and circular economy space. B.PAC has not been compensated in any way by the resources/businesses featured in this website.

This website is a living document and more useful resources can be added to it by filling out this form.  Please note that we will only accept resources that we can verify to be legitimate. Regardless, please be responsible both while adding a resource to the list or before buying or hiring a product or vendor from this list. We strongly advise you to do some research on your own and find alternatives that work best for your lifestyle and context.

B.PAC reserves the right to revise these terms at any time.

Our goal will be achieved when this document becomes redundant because zero waste lifestyle, operations, and alternatives become commonplace and second nature to Bengalureans. Until then, we hope this  website is helpful in moving the needle towards a more clean, green, and circular Bengaluru!

ROADMAP TO ZERO WASTE

The zero waste journey doesn’t begin with sorting waste correctly.

It begins with buying fewer and better products.

If our ultimate goal is to achieve zero waste, then it is important to understand where we currently stand so that we can identify the next steps that need to be taken to achieve zero waste. As such, it is important to do some initial assessment/ benchmarking of our current situation and then set goals, track progress, and stay accountable. This section will give you a very simple overview of how you can start doing this for your lifestyle, home, event, organization, building, or campus.

This step is more important for large organizations and bulk waste generators, but can be very useful for individuals and small organizations as well.

Tips for beginners: How to create your own roadmap to zero waste

INDIVIDUALS  (home and lifestyle)

Roadmap to Zero Waste for Individuals:

  • Start observing what you are throwing away each day. If you want to be more systematic –
    • Write down all the trash you produce for one week.
    • Alternatively, you can collect it in a separate bin and analyze it at the end of the week.
    • Otherwise, just think through all the items you use from when you wake up everyday to when you sleep, and make a list.
  • Assess each item –
    • Is it really necessary or can you do without it? (Do we really need 16 face creams?)
    • Is it reusable? How long can you reuse it? What happens when you can’t use it anymore? (Do we really need disposable paper tissues or can we use a washable cotton handkerchief?)
    • Can you compost it? (Do we really need plastic toothbrushes when we can buy bamboo ones?)
    • Can you recycle it? (Can we buy products in paper packaging instead of plastic whenever possible so they can at least be recycled?)
    • Is there another way to safely dispose of it? (Can’t avoid buying technology these days, but can we give it to a responsible collection / recycling / disposal facility?)
  • Develop a personal purchasing policy –
    • Start replacing all plastic / disposable items with eco-friendly alternatives – as slowly or quickly as you can afford. Sometimes, it is much less wasteful to reuse existing non-eco friendly products than buying new eco friendly ones.
    • Remember, zero waste lifestyle means changing your purchasing decisions, not just how you segregate or manage waste.
    • Zero waste lifestyle begins with shopping for the right things. When you buy a product, use the following matrix to make a more responsible decision. You can usually deduce this information from researching the product, looking at the packaging, and reading the ingredients.
      • Can it be reduced? (do I really need this product?)
      • Is it non-plastic?
      • Can I buy second-hand / reused?
      • Can it be reused or repurposed?
      • Can it be composted?
      • Can it be recycled?
      • Does it have recycled content?
      • Can it be disposed safely?
      • Does it come in single use, plastic, or styrofoam packaging?
    • Embrace reuse and repair – maintain your products well and opt for repair over disposal.
    • End-of-life waste management –
      • Segregate waste per the law (See the section on“Waste Management Laws” on this website)
      • Try to repair, reuse, repurpose, or donate usable items
      • Set up home composting if possible
      • For items like electronic waste and light bulbs, look for a vendor who can collect and dispose / recycle these items responsibly.

ORGANIZATIONS

Roadmap to Zero Waste for Organizations: (buildings, campuses, supply chains)

  • Conduct an inventory of all the material purchases of your office or organization –
    • Focus on regular, recurring purchases first – example, stationery, food, cutlery, etc.
    • Try to list some less regular purchases – equipment, furniture, etc.
    • You can do this for a time period – one week or one month as a start and set up a mechanism to track it continuously.
    • Identify items that are disposable or made of plastic – try to reduce these or find alternatives that are reusable, compostable, or recyclable.
    • Identify which items can be donated or repurposed in some way.
  • Conduct a waste audit – (at least a one-day audit)
    • Ensure you have a well thought out plan – including a clean area, staff/employee orientation, safety gear, safety protocol, containers and first aid before you begin.
    • Collect all the waste for one day (or one week), sort through each bin to see if garbage is being segregated correctly. You can record weights in order to arrive at contamination percentage to educate your employees. Example, if the dry waste bin has 10 kg of waste, but 4 kg of it is wet waste, then your dry waste contamination is 4%.
    • Do this for all the bins and tabulate how much total each of different streams of waste are generated. This is valuable information that helps you plan as well as educate your employees. Example, if you have 50% wet waste, then you can install an organizational composting unit and reduce your waste generation by 50%!
    • We recommend including your employees and not cleaning staff only in this process because they are the waste generators and can learn a lot from this exercise.
    • You can also go for a third party auditor and certification system to not only guide this process, but also reward your organization with a certificate of recognition for your efforts. See a list of certifications you can pursue for zero waste in the directory.
  • Develop an organizational purchasing policy –
    • Start replacing all plastic / disposable items with eco-friendly alternatives – as slowly or quickly as you can afford. Sometimes, it is much less wasteful to reuse existing non-eco friendly products than buying new eco friendly ones.
    • Remember, zero waste operations means changing your purchasing decisions, not just how you segregate or manage waste.
    • Zero waste operations begins with purchasing the right things. If you are a large organization, your purchasing decision can have a huge impact. When purchasing a product, use the following matrix to make a more responsible decision.
      • Can it be reduced or eliminated? (does the organization really need this product?)
      • Is it non-plastic?
      • Can we buy second-hand / reused?
      • Can it be reused or repurposed?
      • Can it be composted?
      • Can it be recycled?
      • Does it have recycled content?
      • Can it be disposed safely?
      • Does it come in single use, plastic, or styrofoam packaging?
    • Develop a waste management policy and employee training
      • Ensure that all employees are oriented and trained in waste management – they must be aware of general zero waste principles, the organizational purchasing policy, and the waste segregation and management policy.
      • Regular awareness events can also be conducted in addition to formal orientation to remind employees to build better habits.
    • End-of-life waste management –
      • Segregate waste per the law
      • Try to repair, reuse, repurpose, or donate usable items
      • Set up in-house composting if possible
      • For items like electronic waste and light bulbs, look for a vendor who can collect and dispose / recycle these items responsibly.
    • Supply chain
      • For organizations that sell products as an integral part of their operations, efforts must be made towards greening your entire supply chain. Pay attention to the following aspects –
        • Product sourcing
        • Product ingredients
        • Transportation
        • Packaging
        • Supply chains of the parts that may not be manufactured in house
        • Fair labor

EVENTS

Roadmap to Zero Waste for Events:

  • Make a list of all the items that need to be purchased for the event
  • Assess each item –
    • Can it be reduced or eliminated? (does the organization really need this product?)
    • Is it non-plastic?
    • Can we buy second-hand / reused?
    • Can it be reused or repurposed after use?
    • Can it be composted after use?
    • Can it be recycled after use?
    • Does it have recycled content?
    • Can it be disposed safely?
    • Does it come in single use, plastic, or styrofoam packaging?
  • You will need to identify eco-friendly products and vendors accordingly. Please see the directory for resources.
  • Ensure that the venue has sufficient waste management facilities for your event – space, bins, staff, waste pick up service, etc.
  • Ensure that you are following waste segregation, collection, and management laws at the event. This can include –
    • Having appropriately sized bins for each type of waste
    • Having clear communication before and during the event on how to segregate waste
    • Having vendors that can collect and compost, recycle, or safely dispose of the waste collected.

Purchasing Checklist

Example in italics

Questions to ask when buying the product If yes If no
Do I really need this product?

 

Example: Notebook.

Proceed to the next questions.

 

Example: Yes, I am really in need of a notebook – let’s try to find a sustainable option. – like one made of recycled paper.

Awesome! Don’t buy it.

 

Example: Actually, I can reuse some scrap paper, borrow some from a family member, or just take notes digitally.

Does it have plastic or styrofoam packaging?

 

 

Example: Shampoo in  a plastic bottle.

Look for an unpackaged alternative

 

 

Example: Can I find an alternative unpackaged – like a shampoo bar? Or in paper, glass or steel packaging?

Good – unpackaged is best, but compostable, recyclable, or reusable packaging is still ok.

 

Example: I really don’t have an option, so I can try to at least clean and recycle this bottle at the end of use.

Is any component of this product made of plastic?

 

Example: Some face washes have plastic microbeads for exfoliation.

Look for a plastic-free alternative

 

 

Example:  Definitely avoid any synthetic ingredients – it is bad for both  the environment and health.

Good – ensure that the material is reusable, compostable, or at least recyclable

 

Example: All safe and natural ingredients? Good – proceed.

Can I buy second-hand / reused?

Example: Applicable for items like books, clothing, electronics, furniture, etc.

Look for a durable second -hand option

Example: Furniture – look for something used in good condition that can be cleaned, refurbished, and reused for a long time.

Proceed to the next question.

Example: If you can’t find what you need second hand, try to opt. For something responsibly made from natural materials.

Is it reusable for a long time?

(And is non-plastic and non-toxic)?

Example: A menstrual cup or cloth pad instead of disposable sanitary napkins or tampons.

Good option.

Example: A menstrual cup or cloth pad can be washed and reused for several years – eliminating the huge amount of recurring hazardous waste that disposable products produce.

Look for something less disposable.

Example: Try to find one of these reusable products online if not at your local store.

Is it completely compostable at the end of its life?

Example: Bamboo toothbrush

Good option – ensure you have home composting or compost pick up.

Example: Not only is this reusable, the bamboo handle (and bristles if they are natural) can be composted at the end of use!

Look for something compostable or at least recyclable.

Example: Avoid plastic toothbrushes. Remember, every toothbrush any human has ever used is still out there somewhere – in a landfill, the ocean, or toxifying the air if it was incinerated.

Can it be recycled?

Example: Notebook

Ok option.

Please note that plastic can only be downcycled – i.e., it reduces in quality when recycled, so it can’t be recycled indefinitely.

Try to choose items like paper, glass, and metal, which can be recycled or upcycled more effectively.

Example: Try to buy recycled paper products

Look for something recyclable – or at least with recycled content.

Example: Make  sure the product is recycled at the end of its life.

Does it have recycled content?

Example: Clothes

Good option.

Example: Some brands these  days are making clothing out of recycled cotton fabric – a good alternative if we can’t find good second hand clothing.

Look for something with recycled content if possible – or at least something that can be safely disposed.

Example: At least natural fibre clothing can be composted. Synthetic clothes don’t decompose and also release microplastics into the water when they are washed.

Can it be safely disposed?

Example: Medical devices and medication

Ok – last resort.

Example: Sometimes, it may be impossible to find a sustainable alternative without compromising health. In such a case, ensure that it is safely disposed per industry guidelines and the law.

We have to find a better alternative.

Example: Voice your concern as a consumer and ask the manufacturer to innovate a sustainable alternative.

Summary
If it is reusable, compostable, and unpackaged Great option!

Ideal product – example: an unpackaged 100% compostable bamboo toothbrush.

If it is disposable, plastic/non-biodegradable, and packaged in plastic. Terrible option, please try to avoid as much as possible.

Worst product – example: plastic to-go cutlery in a plastic bag.

DIRECTORY OF ZERO WASTE RESOURCES IN BENGALURU

We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change.

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

Howard Zinn

Coming soon… we are going to release a crowdsourced zero waste directory so Bangaloreans know exactly where to find zero waste alternatives! Do you own or know a zero waste shop or service? Let us know through this form and get featured!

Purchasing Resources
Product Zero/Low Waste Alternatives – Tips Products / Vendors / Resources
*Verified Bengaluru based
PERSONAL CARE AND LIFESTYLE
Vendors selling ZW personal care products Bare Necessities*
Root Bazaar*
The Better India Shop
Toothbrush Bamboo toothbrush with bamboo/natural bristles
Toothpaste DIY toothpaste in a reusable container made from natural ingredients like baking soda, charcoal
Tongue cleaner Stainless steel reusable without plastic parts
Dental floss Natural fibre thread in paper/reusable packaging
Soap, handwash, facewash, etc. 1 multipurpose product – unpackaged with natural ingredients
Shampoo Shampoo bar, or buy soapnuts in your own container and boil to create a natural shampoo.
Conditioner/moisturizer/lotion Coconut or other natural oil in a glass/non-plastic container
Toilet paper Recycled paper TP SPAK Paper (TP not currently listed on their website, but they do sell it).
Menstrual products Menstrual cup or cloth pads Sirona
SheCup
Boondh
Comb Wooden comb
Shaving razor Stainless steel reusable razor with replaceable and recyclable blades
Makeup DIY/brands with natural ingredients such as cocoa powder, corn starch, beeswax, coconut oil, beetroot extract, etc. Ensure it is packaged without plastic.
Hairties and accessories Natural fibre cloth ribbon or scarf – without elastic
Fitness Biodegradable yoga mats and blocks Juru
Clothing Second hand or natural fibre- maintain in good condition The Thriftshop. Instagram – @thethriftshop.online
Shoes Second hand or natural material – maintain in good condition.
Food – eating in / grocery shopping fresh food Carrying own cloth carry bag and buying fresh food unpackaged in plastic. Any local vegetable shop or street vendor
Food – eating in / grocery shopping dry/non-perishables Carrying own container to bulk stores where you can fill in grains, snacks, etc without packaging. General grocery stores
Farmers markets
Ragi Kana
Tea Stainless steel reusable tea infuser with loose leaf tea
Coffee Can reuse coffee grounds as a skin scrub instead of discarding or composting.
Food – eating out / restaurants Take your own container to bring back leftovers. Carry own cutlery (spoons, forks, straws, etc.) if the restaurant does not offer a reusable option.
Water / travel Carry own water bottle
Home/cleaning/decor
All purpose cleaner Citrus-jaggery cleaner & other bioenzyme cleaners DIY Bioenzyme cleaner recipe
Praanapoorna*
Cleaning rags Reuse old clothes for rags
Scrubs Coconut fibre or metal scrub Golisoda
Decor Plants, repurposed fabric, incense, furniture
Furniture Try to buy used or repurposed furniture online or from someone you know.
Appliances Try to minimize buying new gadgets unless completely necessary, invest in energy and water efficient appliances, and make them last. Repair or donate before re-buying.
Events
Invites Go paperless ir print on recycled paper
Food Cater fresh food rather than plastic packaged snacks
Leftover food Leftovers – donate (or compost if it is inedible). Feeding India
Robin Hood Army
Any other NGO you may personally know
Cutlery Steel plate and cutlery rental Adamya Chetana
Compostable alternatives – leaf plates, etc.
Compostable or reusable straws – steel or glass Shiva Manjesh – castor straws
Gifts Ideas for low waste gifts –
Gift a zero waste product
Gift an experience – like a meal, a movie or play tickets, a vacation, or a concert.
Gift homemade or handmade food packaged in a reusable container.
Support local handicrafts made of natural materials – like pottery, embroidery, cloth bags and purses, etc.
Cash, gift card, or ask the person if there is something they need that you can buy for them. Example – do they need a new pair of glasses? Maybe that can be your present. Or you could pay one of their bills for a month. Get creative!
Festivals If you use fresh flowers, ensure that they are composted at end of use. Otherwise, use reusable decorations.
For festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali, use clay, unpainted, ecofriendly materials.
Stationery & Electronics
Paper Recycled paper products SPAK Paper
Books Borrow or purchase an electronic version
Writing tools Refillable ink pens, pencils, seeded paper pens Bare Necessities -seed paper pens
Phone cases Compostable phone case
Laptop bag Natural fibre / recycled material based laptop bag
Electronics Try to minimize buying new gadgets unless completely necessary and make them last. Repair before re-buying.
Home and furnishing
If you use fresh flowers, ensure that they are composted at end of use. Otherwise, use reusable decorations.
Appliances
Decor and props
Educational and Consulting Resources
Zero waste living – Resources for individuals Explore books, blogs, and social media accounts for inspiration and ideas The Conscious Desi
Zero Waste Home- Bea Johnson
Trash is for Tossers- Lauren Singer
Going Zero Waste- Kathryn Kellogg
Education and advocacy groups SWMRT
Daily Dump
Waste consulting and auditing Saahas
Hasirudala Innovations
Ecoparadigm
Waste certification programs and guidelines B.PAC’s Swacchata Leadership Program – for large corporate campuses and offices

GBCI’sTRUE Zero Wastecertification

GBCI’s Arc Scoru- building performance tracker

Zero Waste Design Guidelines (New York)

Circular business and supply chain support CII – CEO’s Guide on Circular Economy and Competitiveness

Circular Bengaluru(part of Circular Cities Asia) – incubator and investor

Ellen McArthur Foundation- international think tank

Waste Management Resources
Waste Type How to manage responsibly
Bins/ trash bags Newspaper bags
Wet waste Home composting:
Khambha
Eco-bin
Composting bucket
Composting drum
Vermicompost
Etc.
Swachagraha- contains resources for home or community composting

Alternatively, store in a green bin for collection by BBMP.

Dry waste Sort into seperate bins – paper, cardboard, metal, glass, solid plastics, squishy/film plastic, etc. and give to an appropriate vendor.

Alternatively, store in a separate bag or blue bin to be collected by BBMP.

Sanitary waste Store in a red bin for collection by BBMP. (If you use any of the purchasing alternatives recommended above, you may be able to eliminate sanitary waste production!)
Electronic waste / bulbs Give to an E-waste collection service
Saahas
Rashi E-Waste
Medicine and Medical Waste Maridi Eco Industries

WASTE MANAGEMENT LAWS

National

State

Local