Unesco Green Citizens

Phool – A Story Of Change

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Project begin: 20/07/2021

In India, the fragrance of sacred flowers has inspired Ankit Agarwal. This scientist avoids the pollution of the Ganges by floral waste discarded by temples by recycling it into incense sticks and cones and creating jobs for women in marginalized sections.

Leading organisation: Kanpur Flowercycling Private Limited
The country where the team is based: India
Covered Countries: India
Theme: Education for Sustainable Development
Sub-themes: Environment, Gender equality and women's empowerment, Waste management
Tag: #Women
Selection: 2021
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More than 8.4 tons of flowers grown with insecticides and pesticides were being dumped into the Ganges from temples in Uttar Pradesh every day. To address this source of water pollution, Ankit Agarwal has developed a unique technology to recycle used flowers into artisanal organic products. He started Phool, a natural incense stick and cone manufacturing company that employs women from marginalized sections of the community and offers them a fair wage. After a long research to recycle the flowers and a work of sensitization of the local populations, the authorities of the temple agree to give the used flowers to the company instead of dumping them in the river.

2000 jobs for women

Since 2018, floral waste collection has increased from 7.5 kg to 8.5 tons. This initiative now employs more than 200 women in India, in different collection units in Kanpur, Tirupati, Mathura and Varanasi. Through its research and development work, this company also aims to offer alternative solutions for packaging materials, polystyrene and leather.

Phool’s ambition is to expand to the whole of India and create 2,000 jobs by the end of 2022.

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