Hyderabad: Have you ever wondered what happens to the hundreds of tonnes of flowers used in wedding decorations, temples, and other places? While they are discarded as trash by many, Hyderabad-based Oorvi Sustainable Concepts is making sustainable, environment-friendly products from flower waste.
Oorvi Sustainable Concepts is the brainchild of Minal Dalmia and Maya Vivek. “We wanted more from life and envisioned giving back more to life, to this earth, and to fellow women around us,” says Maya Vivek, co-founder of Oorvi.
“Minal and I were drawn to flower recycling. Currently, there is no process that caters to floral waste collected throughout the city. Thus, this large waste ends up being part of the ever-burgeoning landfill or rots in our water bodies causing serious consequences to our environment,” she says.
To overcome this, Oorvi launched a ‘floral project’ called Holywaste. “Flowers are beautiful but they are discarded like garbage. At HolyWaste, we infuse life into floral discards by a process that we endearingly term “FloRejuvenation” – a rejuvenation of floral trash,” Maya says.
Oorvi has tied up with temples, event management companies, and many others. It started with only one-two temples when the project began in 2019. Now, it has expanded its operations to 45 temples and eight event management companies.
“As part of Holywaste, we make incense sticks, soaps, air freshners, floor cleaner, natural wax tablets called Mehak, colors, and more,” says Maya. She explains that all the products are fully plant-based and environment-friendly. “If the products are discarded, they do not cause harm to nature. Personally, I have always had issues with incense sticks. No matter how good the fragrance, it would cause allergies. So, our main aim, when we introduced charcoal-free incense sticks in 2019, was to create non-toxic products,” Maya explains.
As part of the Holywaste project, the start-up also makes a stand/holder for chopsticks that are made completely out of flower powder. This acts as an alternative to metal and plastic stands available in the market.
“We will soon come up with more household products like dishwashing liquid, car fresheners, and natural mothballs that will serve as an alternative to naphthalene balls. We are working on them and these products will be launched soon,” Maya says.
Oorvi collects around three tonnes of flower waste a week. Since its launch, the company has collected over 200 tonnes of flower waste. Roses, marigolds, and chrysanthemums are the major flowers collected.
Their products are available on their website and other e-commerce sites like Amazon. They are also available in some stores in Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Pune.
Currently, only flower petals are used in the Holywaste project, while the rest – stem and leaves – are composted. However, a team of experts is attempting to put them to use as well.
Oorvi is one of the many companies that will participate in [email protected] 3.0 (Innovations & New Knowledge in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), which will be held in Hyderabad in May 2022. [email protected] is a unique platform instituted by the Telangana municipal administration and urban development (MAUD) department in partnership with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) for collaboration between start-ups/innovators, mentors, academic institutions, non-profits, funders, and state/city governments.
(NewsMeter is the formal media partner for [email protected] 3.0. NewsMeter has written this article in association with the Administration Staff College of India.)