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Indian startup created world’s ‘first recycled’ sunglasses from waste potato chip bags

A Pune-based startup in India claims to have created the world’s first recycled sunglasses made from empty packets (bags) of chips. Founder Anish Malpani says on his Twitter channel: “We just made the world’s first recycled sunglasses from ‘impossible-to-recycle’ plastic waste – metalised packets of chips. And this is just the start.”

When announcing the launch of the recycled sunglasses on Twitter, Anish Malpani calls it the “most difficult thing” he has ever worked on. In a Pune laboratory, the former finance professional spent two years researching and developing recycled sunglasses made of multi-layered plastics (MLP). The sunglasses were released under the brand name “Without”.

Picture credit Ashaya

Malpani founded his company Ashaya in February 2021, wanting to work on solving the problem of multi-layered plastics.

According to information published on Ashaya’s website, the company does not only work with packets of chips, “but we recycle all kinds of “impossible-to-recycle” multi-layered plastic packaging (MLP) – think chocolate wrappers, milk packets, essentially any flexible packaging”.

Globally, 0% of this is recycled. It all just ends up in landfills and oceans.

“We have spent the last two years working hard in a lab here in Pune and found a way to not merely recycle it, but to reinvigorate it. We chemo-mechanically extract materials from this crappy waste using our patent-pending technology and convert them into sunglasses (and coasters),” according to the Ashaya website.

“And this is just the beginning,” the company claims. “The material properties we are close to virgin-like and its applications are boundless.”

Malpani and his team collect discarded packets of chips by working directly with waste pickers, saying that the money earned from these sunglasses will be used to pay waste pickers better and fund their children’s education.

Customers can scan a QR code on the side of the sunglasses to learn how many packets were used to make them, who collected the packets, and more.

Source: Ashaya
Cover image: Credit Ashaya

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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