Make cities of India free from Plastic Carry Bags!




2 following



Region of operation

Across India

Headquarters address

Pune Country: India Zip: 411048

Target problem

Plastic adversely effects environment, especially thin shopping carry bags (< 100 microns), which is widely used kind in Indian retail market. India create 16000 tons of plastic waste a day, carry bags and consumer goods are the major contributors. Majority of it ends up in either garbage dumps, and goes to our water streams, rivers and finally to Oceans. Its killing animals’ especially marine life, causing extinction of ecologically critical species up-to 1000 times faster than the natural rate. In garbage dumps it creates toxic chemicals which is entering our water sources. According to an estimate by 2020 99% of birds will have plastic inside their body and 100% of our water resources will be polluted globally. It has entered food our food chain long back and is already detected in human body. Central and state governments is waking up and banning plastic across India, but in absence of a viable alternative it has created a huge market gap.

Key product / Service

We sell paper-bags to the local urban retailers, priced 20%-30% higher than plastic bags. Currently, Paper-bags are priced 300%-500% higher and cloth bags at 1000% higher than plastic carry bags. Paperbags currently available in the market can carry from 0.5 kg to 2 kg. EcoAd bags can carry from 2.5 kgs to upto 6 kgs. Secret lies in the technology of manufacturing. We use multiple layers of inexpensive recycled and up-cycled paper, interlocked and bound in a particular way. Multiple layers give exponential strength comparing to single layer and interlocking avoid tearing on the edges. Only 2 types of bags. Up-cycled: 11 standard variants made from used newspaper, Carries 2.5 kgs to 4 kgs. Limited branding options i.e. screen printing and sticker. Priced from Rs. 3 to 6. Recycled Custom bags: Paperbag with recycled off-white paper, fully customisable printing, size and weight carrying capacity subjected to max size of 15”x15”x15” and max carrying capacity 6 kgs. Prices from 4 to 20.

Team size


Number of beneficiaries

Awards and recognition

  • Media Coverage:CNBC Awaaz; Your Story Feature; Your Story News; DNA; Outlook Business Special Feature on EcoAd; City Plus; Spark Tour France; The Golden Sparrow; The New Indian Express; Indian Express; Times of India
  • Recognition and Listing: Unltd India; Samhita; YourStory
  • Founders Achievement
  • Rohit Nayak: Represented EcoAd at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting’16; Unltd India fellow; Identified as one of the top 100 social entrepreneurs by AFI; Sankalp fellow at Sankalp forum’12; Echoing green and Acumen fellow finalist
  • Sudhir Deshpande: Unltd India fellow; Alumni Ecological society of India

Funding and Operating Model

Funding round


Total funding raised

Business details

Simplified Operational model:

  • We train SHGs for making paperbags. 2 days of training and 2 weeks of handholding, SHGs start making paperbags for us on order basis. Raw material and finished goods parameters are defined. 8 SHGs spread across Pune district buy their own raw material and delivery the finished goods to our Pune office.
  • EcoAd then goes to market and gets orders from Lead Generation platforms, direct marketing and Sampling activities. Orders are placed to SHGs and finished goods are received in a stipulated time.
  • SHGs are paid 30 days after delivery and distribute the profits between women. These SHGs are manages by our NGO partners.
Key Differentiators
  • High strength: Bags for 2.5 - 6 kgs
  • Responsive service: Best delivery time 3 hrs
  • Affordable: Ranging from Rs. 3 to 6
Biggest challenges
  • High cost of manufacturing: High labour cost as the bags are handmade.
  • Complex Business Operations: Too many moving parts.
  • Slow Adoption: Small marketing efforts are not enough to create a trend.
Expansion Plan
  • Mechanised Manufacturing process: With our corporate partners Cummins India, we have identified and developed machines that will cut our manufacturing cost to half. This will help us improve margins, forward to our distributors, provide free delivery and breakeven faster.
  • Aggressive Marketing: We have identified our market segments and cost of customer acquisition in each segment and best channels for marketing. We are now going to focus on cities which have banned plastic recently and do aggressive marketing, supported by local distribution in hot areas within that city.
  • Tech-Development: To scale operations and manage local franchise in different cities we need a strong ERP solution to track business performance in real time. We’ve already started defining it and have shortlisted a few solutions and have some of tentative quotes too.
In next 2 years we want to be in 5 cities and sell over 14 million paperbags

Partners and key clients

Community Engagement: Our NGOs partners help us identify the right SHG, fund us to train them and manage the groups for timely delivery and quality. - Sudha from Sudharshan Chemicals Industries Limited - CSR wing: Forbes Marshall Pvt. Ltd. - CSR Wing: Yardi Soft, Pune - CSR Wing: Cummins India Supporters and Funders: - Unltd India: Unltd is a Social Start-up accelerator - Gits Foods: Leading player in ready to cook products - SVP Pune: Capacity building and network partner - Samangra Pune: Strategic Partner Key clients and channel partners - - Eatsome: QSR Chain - Picantos: Restaurant Chain - Rools Mania: QSR Chain - Rasta Café: Café Chain - HauzKhas: Food delivery - Swiggy: Hyperlocal food delivery - Cake and Cream: Bakery Chain - Gits Foods: Corporate Client - Cummins India: Corporate Client - ……. It’s a long list

Images and trivia

Image gallery