Ashaya is a social enterprise that aims to increase the value of waste through technological and scientific innovations in recycling and then fairly redistribute that value to stakeholders in the supply chain, especially those who are the poorest: waste-pickers.

Our three guiding principles are:

We want to marry the best of the non-profit space with the best of the for-profit space while maintaining a long-term focus.


For starters, we are developing chemical and mechanical upcycling processes for “impossible-to recycle” plastic waste.

Specifically we are working on metalized multi-layered plastic (MLP), coloured PET bottles and polycotton textiles. Metalized MLP is a low-value, high volume, composite waste that is considered economically and technically hard to recycle. Coloured PET bottles are hard to decolorize and are thus not mechanically recycled like transparent PET bottles. Polycotton textile waste is hard to separate into cotton and polyester and contribute significantly to the microplastic menace we currently face.

We are currently working on converting this waste into high-quality material (like 3D printing filament) which we will then monetize.

We want to work on all types of waste, but we got to start somewhere. Plastic waste is generally high-value and nimble, so it makes sense to start there.

Only once we have managed to extract significant margin from the waste will we look to impact waste-pickers and kabadiwallas. The thought process here is that we do not want to disrupt value chains unless we have tech that works. At Ashaya, there’s no room for false hope.

Ideally, we will use our profits/margin on two aspects: (1) upliftment of waste-pickers and kabadiwallas, and (2) cross-subsidizing the recycling of other low-value waste.

Our eventual goal is to create decentralized “material cradles” or recycling centres at the sub-district level across India that upcycle all types of municipal solid waste, formalize and incorporate the informal sector, and are financially sustainable, mini-manufacturing units.

We have a lot left to figure out, and a long way to go.
If you’re interested in joining our journey, email us, or sign up below to get regular updates.

Stay updated