A collective of social entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and experts is pitching a new brand of repurposed textile bags as a sustainable alternative to plastic, this time with a greater focus on reuse and recycling.
Desh ka Bag (DKB), formally launched in Bengaluru on Sunday, comes with technology that helps tracking of manufacturing and distribution. The producers propose to track the sold bags and incentivise their reuse. The model draws on the idea that even non-plastic alternatives need to be reused for them to achieve the best results.
DKB estimates that more than one million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year in India and the country consumes close to one million tonnes of single-use plastic bags every year.
The collective is engaging with the informal sector for production. It is collaborating with women self-help groups (SHGs) and NGOs for production of the bags that now come in three sizes, prized at Rs 8, Rs 15 and Rs 20, Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder of Daily Dump, said.
“The bags are QR-coded and there will be buy-back options. The model will be much more viable for small-scale vendors,” she told DH. The technology is being tested now and the incentivising of reuse will be taken up during the second phase of the project, which also has academic institutions and design studios as partners.
With woman SHGs as localised suppliers and potential endorsement of kirana stores and street vendors, the collective hopes to build a vendors’ network in five cities by March 2023.