Global warming is taking place at a much faster rate than expected by scientists. The climate change is causing polar ice caps to melt, which in the result is increasing the sea level. But this is dangerous as the sea is in danger as well because of all the toxic waste that gets dumped into the water bodies by companies and people who visit the beaches.
Several governments are taking severe steps to tackle the problem of plastic wastage like countries have set up waste management plants. Countries convert the waste for electricity and recycling it for other products. India has taken strict action against this, too, as this year, the government decided to ban the usage of plastic bags and most of the products in the market. But this does not solve the problem of management of plastic waste in the country.
One primary source of wastage in our country is the plastic bottles of water and aerated drinks that people leave behind after using them. We have to help the governments, and every individual should act as a team and help in reducing this wastage. One person who is working on this track is Shanto Ram Doultani, who is helping with his startup – Carry Your Bottle.
The beginning of the project and it’s motive
Born in Nagpur and spending his life in Pune after graduation in 1998, Shanto Ram Doultani is living a life of meditation and architect in Goa since 2015, where he is running a social enterprise. He launched his startup “Carry Your Bottle” in 2016 when he noticed empty plastic bottles on the side of the beach and road in Goa.
This was the time when he decided to make a change in this and, in 2016, launched his startup as he moved to Goa and made people aware of the severe issue and provided steel and copper bottles as the solution. Carry Your Bottle is a project that is aimed at making people aware of the need to carry their water bottles instead of buying bottled water wherever they go. This would help people to do their bit in changing the world and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing the environmental pollution.
They promote reusable steel and copper bottles through their startup as it would reduce the usage of plastic bottles. Their first target audience is the tourists, schools, institutions, and beachside resorts, and then they would go for retail stores, boutiques, and distributors in other cities.
The company is also promoting in making more water refill points by asking institutions to make those and spread awareness of using such water bottles. Then in the future, they wish to introduce Mobile and Stationary Water ATMs to spread the message to carry bottles, and they have also developed a mobile app that would help the users to locate water refill points. With this, they wish to reduce the carbon footprint by reducing the use of plastic bottles and reduce the waste created by the plastic bottles and use the energy for recycling.
Challenges faced initially and collaborations for the project
The initial stage of the project was severe as people couldn’t understand the motive behind this project, and it was like another talk for them on the usage of plastic. But with time, the project started growing, and people saw this is a solution to the problem.
The company has collaborated with several individuals and NGOs and businesses and received a lot of support from them. Organizations like Vanashakti, Earthkeepers, Medini EcoStore, Ecoposro, Clean Goa, Banglanatak, and many more are a part of this project. Apart from this, many resorts have come forward to be a part of the water refill points for them.
The first milestone of the company and its current growth
Within just six months of the project, they were able to make two resorts and a yoga school to stop using plastic bottles for the guests. They started using steel bottles with their branding and kept them in the guest room.
With a team of 5 people and moving to office space from his living room, they all are working to provide solutions and alternates for single-use plastic. The support and number of orders have increased over time, and they have reduced the usage by 1.2 million bottles. Carry Your Bottle is now certified as a startup by the Goa government which shall support Shanto Ram to take up the project further.
Shanto Ram’s vision for the company
With the orders rolling in, he wishes to take Carry Your Bottle and the water refill points movement on a global scale. They plan to add more and more water refill stations in the mobile app by 2020. They also wish to have their own automated water vending machine at prime locations, and they are ready to create a distributor network in India as well as import their products.