Push for sustainable substitutes for single use plastics

Seven startups working on sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics in the food and beverage industry incubated by GoMassive Earth Network
22 Jun 2022
0 mins read
Mobile refill stations help Mumbai's citizens go zero-waste (Image: BetterIndia)
Mobile refill stations help Mumbai's citizens go zero-waste (Image: BetterIndia)

GoMassive Earth Network, an investment network for investing in startups in the sustainability space had in November 2020, GoMassive launched Climate Angels, which is an early-stage investment syndication platform for pollution reduction and climate tech. GoMassive invests in sustainability startups solving pollution and climate change which is led by entrepreneurs, seasoned angel investors, corporates, and venture capitalists.

The network offers capital, mentorship, and validation of ideas through its partnerships with research labs, tech academia, and policy think tanks. Sustainability-focused climate tech fund, Climate Angles has joined hands with Rebel Foods and GoMassive Earth Network for its ZeSUP Challenge – the Zero Single-Use Plastic Challenge — for startups who are leading the fight against single-use plastics in the food and beverage (F&B) industry.

The centre has banned the use of ‘single-use plastic’ from July 1 following the Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change gazette notification last year announcing the ban. The list of items that will be banned from next month has been defined and the “manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited”, the ministry notifies.

Single-use plastic, as the name suggests, refers to plastic items that are used once and discarded. They constitute the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used accounting from account for a third of all plastic produced globally, with 98% manufactured from fossil fuels. They include from packaging of items, to bottles, polythene bags, coffee cups, trash bags, cling film, food packaging etc.

Shift to sustainability

After going through a multilayered selection process over the last month, seven startups have been selected by GoMassive for the ZeSUP Challenge to deploy their solutions with the incubators’ F&B partners which include Rebel Foods, Burger Singh, and The Beer Café. The selected startups are currently gearing up for a six-month Bootcamp program which would run alongside the pilots.

The program aims to support these ventures throughout their entrepreneurial journey, from curating sessions on the stepping stones of the business world to crafting the perfect story while pitching to investors the program would leave no stone unturned in helping these pioneering startups on their journey to eradicate Single-Use Plastics from India.

“With the onset of the pandemic take-aways and home delivery options replaced the traditional dine-in restaurants, and this worked as a stimulant to increase the usage of single-use plastics in the industry. The incubation network crafted this one-of-a-kind challenge to deal with this problem head-on. GoMassive was chosen as the Entrepreneur Support Organization to lead the challenge. We are excited to see these high-potential startups take up the challenge of removing the ubiquitous SUPs, the next 6 months would be very action-packed for us and we cannot wait to get started”, said Shailesh Vickram Singh, Founder of GoMassive Earth Network.

The selected startups include:

Qudrat (Trivandrum) provides a perfect substitute for single-use plastic and disposable paper tableware like plates, cups, trays, and containers. Qudrat’s products are engineered to have a low carbon footprint and are manufactured in a zero-waste facility. 

Imaga’s (Delhi) product line enables sustainability in food delivery. It has already enabled over 500 businesses across India to shift away from plastic packaging and use bamboo fiber, sugarcane fiber, and other sustainable materials to combat plastic and other sources of carbon emission that food and retail businesses struggle with

Sunbird Straws (Bengaluru) makes drinking straws for a wide range of drinks from coconut leaves and are developed in-house and the operations employ several rural women. Sunbird has a global customer base.

Cupable (Mumbai) manufactures reusable packaging made from crop waste which is 100% reusable, refillable, and recyclable. Their packaging has a Unique ID that helps them track and implement circular systems to eliminate single-use plastic.

Embuer Health (Delhi) has been innovating, manufacturing, and marketing eco-friendly sustainable, and biodegradable products catering to industries especially FMCG, F&B and Beauty Spa at an affordable price for the masses. Their star products include Kitchen Wipes, Kitchen Rolls, Roti Wrap, Food Wrap, Paper Straw, Dona Patal & Food Service Disposables.

Refillable (Mumbai) is a zero-waste refill service. The startup helps brands adapt to reusable and refillable packaging in their existing supply chain through their network of refill trucks, bikes, pouches, and reverse logistics partners. Their aim is to make refills accessible, affordable, and convenient for consumers by onboarding brands on their refill trucks, redesigning their existing packaging, and reusing it thoroughly.  

Biogreen Biotech (Bengaluru) are wholesalers and suppliers of 100% compostable substitutes to plastic grocery, carry bags, and everyday single-use products. Their products are also non-toxic to the environment, animals, and plants.


The ZeSUP Challenge aims to make India single use plastic free. The information gained by the pilots will be used to drive extensive research and help us gain a better understanding on the food and beverage single-use plastic consumption and the environmental benefits of using alternatives to single-use plastic options.

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