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Creating value from trash

ISP Mumbai Bureau 

Do you see utility furniture in the scores of tetra packs that we throw away after use. Well, one bright lady from Mahim in Mumbai has found value in everything that we discard and has garnered global acclaim for her successful experiment in converting thrown away used tetra packs into school benches and tables for children. 

Monisha Narke,  a topper among girls in Maharashtra Higher Secondary School Board Exam and later graduated from Stanford University and came back to India to do something meaningful in life. Narke is the CEO and founder of RUR Greenlife, a waste management company doing pioneering work in the country today.

RUR which stands for ‘Are you Reducing, Reusing, Recycling’ was founded in 2009 with a vision to create eco conscious citizens who make their waste worthy for the planet by practising good green habits. 

Her team has designed and filed patents for “GreenGold Aerobic Bio Composter” which ensures 100% aerobic, non electricity dependent, Hygienic and manual solution to domestic waste. The product has successfully completed its application stage as well and has also ventured into international projects. 

RUR was actively involved in environmental campaigns spreading awareness on how to start home composting, promoting sustainable alternatives to disposables, and setting up sustainable waste management systems in retail spaces, societies, schools and organisations. The team has designed an eco-kid program to integrate practical eco practices in school curriculum.

Manisha’s company RUR has collaboration with the Indian arm of Tetra Pak,  a Swedish multinational food packaging and processing company with head offices in Switzerland. Manisha and her team have joined hands with the company in the Go Green Initiative. The venture educates citizens, sets up recycling centres to collect discarded cartons in shopping centres, retail stores, schools, and housing societies. That leads to making recycled products from Tetra Pak cartons.

The RUR team led by Monisha Narke have recycled more than 3.5 million Tetra Pak cartons and have turned them into school desks and park benches. They have donated about 250 desks to schools for the underprivileged and about 100 of garden benches.

The Go Green with Tetra Pak, an initiative to recycle post consumer Tetra Pak cartons and create awareness amongst citizens about the importance of recycling. The project has been recognized by Limca Book of Record 2013. 

Apart from taking up innovative people’s initiatives, Monisha and RUR regularly educate people and encourage them to adopt green practices and teach homeowners and their housekeeping staff about waste segregation. Monisha’s team has considerably expanded her bio-composting and waste recycling projects to more parts of the country now.

Monisha is also involved in researching and developing a range of new products to manage higher capacity input biowaste. They continuously develop prototypes and do field trials to develop economically viable and socially useful products from waste materials. She has also committed herself to mentor the next generation to create environmentally sustainable models for making the earth a better place to leave. Monisha’s initiatives are showing Mumbaikars how to lower their waste generation and recycle biodegradable waste.

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