Vasshin Composites an environmental engineering startup has transformed the concept of tableware by creating sustainable and eco-friendly ones made up of Himalayan Pine needles.

As we are celebrating Christmas and waiting for the new year to come, we all are in the right mood of plum cakes and wine in our homes with family. Whether it is wine glasses or bowls Vasshin Composites brings for all of them in the most sustainable way. Made up of pine needles these tablewares are not only bio-degradable and do not leave any carbon footprints.

Vasshin Composites founded by Abhinav Talwar is taking an initiative by making biodegradable products to reduce the usage of plastic.

"The initial idea was to help the earth as much as possible and try to utilise the resources more sustainably. We wanted to be as much as responsible while choosing raw material for our products. Essentially, we were trying to work in the B2B stage initially but later we realised it was equally important to take the message across to daily consumers, so later we started to have a B2C model. We got a very good and loving response from people for what we do." Said Abhinav

Maybe you think, "It's just one fork," but multiplied by millions upon millions, those plastic utensils are terrible for the environment. Some estimates put the number of individual plastic utensils dumped at 40 billion per year in the United States alone. After just one single-use, most of them are thrown out and end up in landfills and our water bodies. Plastic cutlery is one of those items that won't be recycled even when you put it in the recycling. It's too contaminated and small. It's too lightweight. So those 40 billion plastic utensils per year are a complete waste. (Tenenbaum, 2019)

He said: "I believe there are different types of people, some are aware and some are not. Then some people want to do something about the problem, for us we got the maximum amount of response from the people who wanted to do something about the issue. So, these are the people who came in contact with us directly to buy the product. These types of people are very significant to us. Then there are the people who are aware and would support us on every platform. We as a company believe there is a sufficient number of people out there to whom we want to reach. We just need to present ourselves to them and let them know this is also an option that can be opted by which they can be more responsible in their daily life."

He also highlighted "we are the only company who is using pine needles for tableware to create durable, long-lasting products. Using our tribal empowerment program is a process to collect these pines from the Himalayan ranges. The pines are collected by hand by tribal people. We believe we add to their daily activity and the economy as well. Then once it reaches us it is further processed into bowls, plates, and glasses reaching the final product."

Plastic cutlery has a lot of impact on the environment even before it gets to the market. This is because there is a lot of energy and carbon that are emitted during their production leading to the addition of heat and carbon to the atmosphere. This carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, combines with other greenhouse gasses such as methane and ends up causing devastating climatic changes. (Conserve energy future, n.d.)

He also said "When we talk about society, I would like to talk about the United Nations Development Goals and our government is also taking the essential steps. In that perspective, we are trying to bring change for the betterment of land, climate, environment, rights, innovation to the work, and most importantly carbon capture. Earlier people used to make peace with the products which were labeled eco – friendly but at the same time, they were polished and cleaned with boric acid. This puts a lot of pressure on the system. What we aim to do is avoid this entire process."

Talking about the Premium range of Christmas edition wine glasses he said, "We are the first company to produce wine glasses out of the raw material we have. So, our point here was when we look at the Christmas tree, it looks very similar to pine. So, we wanted to use our pine material to create a wine glass where you sip more sustainably, while the glass being unbreakable, durable you can be reminded of Christmas throughout the year."

He also spoke about anti-viral tableware and said, "In olden times we used to have bell metal, and we had a concept of making utensils out of it. Our previous generation used to insist to eat these utensils because when you eat food in these utensils there is no chance of you falling sick. Your food nourishes you. The idea is similar, the whole concept of antiviral tableware is the same. previously these utensils had very high maintenance and in today's time with it is not possible to do the same. These antiviral utensils were initially for expecting, nursing mothers and babies."

Talking about the future plans he said while signing off, "We are going to continue doing the same thing and make sure more people adopt sustainable practices and consume responsibly. I believe the earth is a borrowed concept. We might have inherited from the ancestors but we borrow it from our children. It's very important to take care of something that is borrowed. At the responsible consumption is the focus and avoiding the next corona coming in from the landfills."

Written by: Nidhi Choudhary