Project Ankur

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Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth's environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Killing millions and millions of humans as well as animals is a clear indication of how noxious plastic pollution is. These modern day conveniences are so ubiquitous and so quickly thrown out that they hardly register in our minds. But single-use plastics come with a steep environmental price, one that we’ll be paying off for millennia. Single-use plastics are a glaring example of the problems with throwaway culture. Instead of investing in quality goods that will last, we often prioritize convenience over durability and consideration of long-term impacts. Our reliance on these plastics means we are accumulating waste at a staggering rate.

Plastic pens are one of the most widely used writing tools in the world. Even with computers replacing handwritten documents, pens are still used daily. The issue with these pens is that without having their metal components removed, plastic pens actually aren’t recyclable. Every year India discards millions of plastic pens. In Delhi alone, approximately 5,34,91,000 pens are discarded every year highlighting the pressing need to engender a change.

A plastic pollution free world is not a choice but a commitment to life - a commitment to the next generation and we at Enactus SAC have embarked on a journey to curb this situation with our Project Ankur. Seeing the need and opportunity for the same, we started looking for an alternative. Sustainability is going to be the survival stunt in the near future. Project Ankur is a vocal initiative in the same line. The only way out of the voracious cycle of plastic pollution is to substitute it with better and more sustainable articles. We as a society have always resonated with the common notion of creating sustainable and much more nature-oriented substitutes around us. With a mission to keep a check on single use plastic, we came up with an alternative after thorough research which is bamboo. Bamboo pens are not only environment friendly but also feasible. With an effort to inspire people to live a sustainable life, we opted for the same with the motive of converting it back into a tree.

The product is conceptualised and manufactured by a local family of carpenters in Delhi who were taught how to make a pen in the primary stage by the volunteers of Enactus SAC. We uphold the virtue of community outreach and with the propulsive force of making a difference to the society, we have successfully generated a source of stable income for the family by educating them about the ill effects of pollution and assisting them in the manufacturing process. We provided employment opportunity to the carpenters by ensuring them pivotal role in our manufacturing process. As we further progress with our project we wish to grow and diversify our outreach by transferring the knowledge of the grim reality of plastic pollution to low-income groups and urge them to join and work with us for a noble cause.

The raw material for bamboo is acquired from a small local shop in Gurgaon sector 14 from bamboo chick makers and the ink is supplied by a wholesaler in Sadar Bazar. To maintain the grip while writing, we used a special thread which is also biodegradable and makes the pen not just comfortable but appealing too. The seeds for the pen are from nurseries located in and out Delhi.

Once the ink is finished, bury the pen into the soil and water it daily. Soon enough, you will see a plant growing which can grow into a tree, fruit or a vegetable plant. The pen in itself is a work of art with fine quality of bamboo with a tip of 0.5mm and rich texture.

What gives us a competitive edge over our competitors is the price of our pens. Unlike all the other options available in the market, our prices are low making it feasible for the students. We have enumerated the prices of our articles at a prominent range, which is not extensively high but also at the same time allows us to keep a profit margin for our further use. Apart from its durability, comfort and looks, we managed to set a competitive market price for our product. We made the whole pen in just ₹9.5 and decided to market it for ₹13 to ₹13.5 to retail shops, ₹12.5 to ₹13 to schools and institutions directly and fixed the market price to ₹15. Thereby making a reasonable profit with every sale we make. Cheaper and varied offering will help us capture a wider market in a short span of time. We ensured that, no matter what the hurdles are, an outstanding quality of product is sold. We made sure our promotion was structured in the very line of instigating the essence of sustainability and eco-friendly products amongst our audience. Project Ankur has intricately utilised the expertise of the conventional carpenters.

Most ventures are trying to capture corporate and gifting areas of stationary however, our target customers are the students. We have become stern believers of the innate potential within us and with time, our youth has shown remarkable interest in choosing environmentally friendly products in place of plastic made products. Project Ankur is a culminated product of intensive ideation to imply business tactics and substantial technological aid. The crucial step in our trajectory from the producer end to the consumer end is the marketing of the articles. We have successfully empowered and created a chain of supply between the carpenters and the distributors of the articles.

Seeing the enormous need and opportunity of widening our reach, we plan on capturing schools in Delhi NCR and its adjoining areas with the motive of inculcating environment friendly pens in the day to day lives of the students and a must have in their school kit.

Working tirelessly to bring about a change, we aspire to make sustainable stationary kit for students in the near future. The anticipated positive impact of our project is the awareness among our target audience regarding the negative impact of single use plastic and the ardent need to switch to eco-friendly articles. A minor change in our daily routine can bring about an everlasting change in our society and with Project Ankur, we wish to inculcate in people, a sense of responsibility. When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when many dream together it is the beginning of a new reality. Together we aspire to do a lot more. This year, we pledge to choose a cleaner, plastic-free environment.

 

With Project Ankur, we wish to make life sustainable.

Team Enacts SAC,