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October 15, 2020 |

#5 Indian entrepreneurs convert pine needles to tableware and face masks

In Himachal Pradesh, India, two entrepreneurs are making tableware and COVID-19 masks from pine needles to simultaneously help the populous nation address its plastics waste challenge and prevent forest fires common to the region.

Himachal native Abhinav Talwar, who founded Vasshin Composites in 2019 with Maithri V, says the startup collects the region’s abundant fallen pine needles to produce face shields, spoons, mugs, plates, and bowls. Local workers collect the pine needles, which are sent to production plants in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Baroda. To date, the company has sold over 100,000 face shields.

“Every year the forest fires cause considerable damage to the environment, especially with the heavy emissions of harmful gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide,” Abhinav tells The Better India. “The summer season is especially bothersome, as these trees shed their highly inflammable needles. They easily catch on fire, causing unaccountable damage to the environment,” Abhinav says. “Plus, the needles hinder the growth of any flora on the forest floor, due to their antimicrobial properties.”
More on the story, here.

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