What is the process of making P-blocks?
The basic ingredient that goes into the block is very simple and is the waste that comes from paper mills. Paper waste is one type of waste but there is another type of waste, the non-recycled part of paper, which goes into the landfill or is incinerated. This is a global problem and this non-recycled part is incinerated in many parts of the world but ends up in the landfill in India. This non-recycled part is the core ingredient of the P-blocks. The other ingredient is a trade secret and is a byproduct of chewing gum as one of the binders that goes into making these blocks. We mix them together and keep the mixture for five to six hours depending on the outside temperature. After this process, the mixture is ready to be molded. These bricks are handpressed and once they are molded they are naturally dried by the sun. We have one dryer that is a solar concentrator that expedites the process of natural sun drying.
It is more affordable for us to employ people for this work rather than relying on technology. Instead of having one big factory, we instead have micro factories spread across different villages so that each village can have their own employment source to make these handmade bricks.
What challenges did you face in starting Eco-Eclectic Technologies?
The first challenge that I faced was a social challenge because people were not ready to accept the fact that a 16 year old was working with waste and leaving his family’s legacy behind. In the beginning it was very hard to be accepted in the work I was doing. A second challenge was that many people were not willing to give away industrial waste when I first started working in this area. Some people wanted to take my ideas and use it for themselves.
Another challenge has been going into communities and having people understand our products. We used to directly compete with the red brick industry. Red brick production in India is highly unorganized and is not completely legal or authorized. Local brick manufacturers started opposing us going into their villages and selling cheaper products than them. They started threatening us and I got death threats.
We were able to overcome these obstacles and the associated challenges of corruption. We have gone through a lot of hardships on our way to being at the position we are today.
When I started working in waste, it was a taboo at the time because of the family I come from in India. I had to face a lot of criticism and lack of support, but my grandfather always told me, “If this is your dream and you want to chase it, then go for it and never stop yourself even if your own loved ones are against you.” His support has always motivated me.
What is your vision for Eco-Eclectic Technologies?
People in India are still not aware of the segregation of waste to a large extent and India’s policies around the segregation of waste have not been very successful. My forte is industrial waste recycling and most people are not aware of the industrial waste being generated by all of the industries here. In India approximately 43,000 industries produce 19,000 tons of solid waste every day. As a visual, that is 10,000 cars being thrown into the landfill every day. India is ranked the sixth largest producer of waste globally.
My dream is that one day India becomes a solutions provider for these different types of industrial waste to the rest of the world through various innovations. The technologies I have been developing are not just for India but for the world to explore.
Eco-Eclectic Technologies is aiming to have 150 products by 2022 as solutions to a large amount of different types of industrial waste in India. Any type of industrial waste, send it to Eco-Eclectic Technologies. We would love to work together to find a solution.