Kochi-based start-up makes interlocking tiles and furniture from plastic waste


The blue and green interlocking tiles on the Kochi campus of the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology (CIPET) and the bunch of multicoloured furniture at the Edappally metro station may hardly seem to have anything in common.

But they do. Both are made of plastic refuse.

Carbon and Whale, a Kochi-based cleantech start-up, is into making interlocking tiles with plastic pellets and furniture from plastic waste like reusable bags, food containers, plastic carts, and toys. Incubated at CIPET Kochi, it has been registered as a micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) and recognised both by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Startup India.

“The interlocking tiles were laid across 50 sq.ft. at CIPET Kochi as a pilot project earlier this month. It has passed the load-bearing test. The USP of the tile is that it weighs just 180 grams and has a life of around 50 years. Besides, it can be removed and further recycled after a decade or two, if so desired,” said Siddharth A.K., founder of Carbon and Whale.

The start-up has now been roped in under Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) for deploying public benches at Gandhi Square near Durbar Hall. Carbon and Whale has also launched a ‘#declutterkochi’ campaign to recycle plastic waste from the city and give it back to it as utilities.

Though numerous investors, even from abroad, have evinced interest in funding, the start-up has chosen to go it alone realising the potential of the concept and largely relies on support from government agencies.

Talks are also in progress for a joint venture with a government agency so that plastic can be sourced in large quantities as the start-up ventures into commercial production. For the time being, plastic is sourced from a few Perumbavoor-based companies. Steps have also been initiated to secure patent for the technology.

The start-up has spent the past couple of years on research before coming up with its products in February. Sooraj Varma, a faculty member at CIPET, is the other co-founder.

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