Pappco Greenware: Bringing Sustainability to Your Table
Throwing a party (be it small or large scale) takes a lot of organising. From inviting the guests to preparing the food to arranging entertainment- the list is endless. The hard part, however, comes after the guests have left. When you see the big pile of dishes that need to be cleaned, you can’t help but scold your past self for throwing the party in the first place. To avoid cleaning up, some resort to using disposable cutlery. What we don’t realise is the non-biodegradable, Styrofoam plates we use are BAD for the environment. They are non-biodegradable and remain in the landfills for years and years.
Meet Pappco Greenware: a completely sustainable, zero-plastic packaging brand.
We managed to get on a call with Abhishek Agarwal, co-founder of Pappco, when he was driving back home in terrible Mumbai traffic. Naturally, it led to a long and leisurely conversation. Here are some insightful excerpts:
Founded by Mr Anil Agarwal and his two sons, Abhishek and Aadesh, in 2011, the company had a rough start. They struggled to find the right clientele for the first five years of the launch. They were on the verge of thinking of quitting when they finally made a breakthrough. Not all hope was lost. Right calls were made, and they roped in the big fish with Starbucks and Taj Hotels. The imposition of the plastic ban was certainly a boon for the company. Soon, they expanded their D2C model to cater to B2B and B2C models too.
Sustainable and Available
"We need to stop romanticizing sustainable narratives. They need to become the norm."
Seeing the eco-friendly range of disposables in a retail store in Singapore inspired the trio to start a similar initiative in India. Pappco products are made from Bagasse, the pulp of sugarcane. Bagasse disposable products take less water, emit less carbon dioxide, and are equally (if not more) sturdy. Unlike plastics, bagasse is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
Hurdles To Cross
One of the biggest challenges faced by the company was consumer awareness. Educating and convincing consumers about sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives of packaging was a big struggle. Many confused Pappco’s products with Styrofoam because of their white colour.
Outsourcing manufacturers is another big hurdle for many small businesses. Like many others, finding the right suppliers proved to be a nightmare for the company.
What threw them a curveball was actually information about the raw material- bagasse. One of the purposes of the brand is to provide sustainable alternatives to plastic and Styrofoam cutlery. The fact that bagasse products cannot hold certain liquids was certainly news to them. Did you know that sugarcane and alcohol don't mix well? Well, neither did the people at Pappco. It was the valuable feedback from their customers that helped them position their products in the market.
You (sugar)cane do it!
With a range of over 150 products including disposable cutlers, straws, steamers and skewers, the team at Pappco Greenware aims to ‘Bring sustainability to your table’. Over the years, they have truly carved a niche for themselves and are now among the top leaders in the industry. By offering environmentally friendly products they are encouraging the consumers to make conscious choices.