WHAT WE ARE
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.
OUR CURRENT FOCUS
We are currently working on post-consumer metalized multi-layered plastic packaging (MLP). MLP is the least recycled type of plastic waste, and generally ends up in landfills. It is a low-value, high volume, composite waste (upto 5-6 different types of materials) that is considered economically and technically “impossible” to recycle.
We are recycling this waste into high-quality materials and products, starting first with recycled sunglasses. We are not fully there yet, but we are getting closer.
We want to eventually work on all types of waste, but we have got to start somewhere. Plastic waste is generally high-value and nimble, so it made sense for us 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) permanent 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.