Plastic out, sustainability in

Updated: Nov 17, 2019, 08:45 IST | Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

Ajinkya Chikte's subscription service helps you rid plastic waste from the comfort of your home as you buy your monthly provisions

Place the used plastic bottles in the same box in which your monthly supplies arrive
Place the used plastic bottles in the same box in which your monthly supplies arrive

In 2018, Ajinkya Chikte, 32, and wife Seepi Gupta took a diving trip to Havelock in the Andaman Islands, and discovered a new type of jellyfish. Little did he know, the invertebrate he swam close to was a blob of plastic trash floating 25 meters below the surface. "That really got my goat. I decided that I had to do something about the trash problem," he recalls.

A couple of months into looking for a concrete solution, Versova-based Chikte thought of launching a setup based on a circular economy. "Instead of selling unfamiliar products to people and expecting them to adopt these products, I chose to sell familiar buys to people in a new format and help them adopt a new habit—the habit of returning empty bottles and containers. That’s the basic thought behind the idea of creating a circular economy—recovering materials for recycling, reuse, and recirculation," he explains. Chikte has two recycling partner companies—one for harder plastic such as bottles and another for soap covers, etc.

Homebox Express was launched this October. For all the people concerned about plastic waste hurting the environment, this new subscription service makes sustainable living convenient. "We send you a box full of new household supplies every month, and take back the plastic waste from the previous month."

Ajinkya ChikteAjinkya Chikte

The box delivered to your home contains homecare products that otherwise come packaged in plastic containers, such as detergents and cleaners. "Our service saves the consumer time, effectively giving them one less thing to worry about every month," Chikte claims. Once you subscribe to Homebox and choose the products you need, they are delivered on the first weekend of every month, without you having to notify the staff again. Chikte says they sell all products at MRP, the same price you pay at the grocery store. "We don’t charge a convenience fee, but we also don’t offer discounts." So, why should you sign up? "It’s good for the environment. And you’ll be helping a self-funded green business. If you’re living away from parents, are a young couple, you should get on. It’s cheaper than Netflix," he laughs.

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