Plastic pollution is a global problem affecting the marine environment. The problem is not only millions of tons of plastic floating in our oceans and their contribution to climate change, but also their impact on human health.
Although many Western nations have banned the use of plastic bags, developing countries in Africa and Asia still use plastic bags. According to Statista data, India generated 17.5 million tons of plastic waste in 2021 alone.
Other estimates show that India produces more than 25,000 tons of plastic waste every day, accounting for 8-10 percent of all waste generated by the country. That’s why an Indian tech startup aims to reduce the problem of plastic pollution by reusing plastic waste to make sustainable shoes. And that’s why the founder of an Indian tech startup has set himself the goal of reducing plastic pollution while creating jobs for people in India.
Ashay Bhave is India’s newest green entrepreneur and founder of Thaely (which literally means plastic carrier bags in Hindi), an Indian footwear startup that is making $100 worth of sustainable sneakers from global plastic bag waste. Since 2021, Thaely has recycled over 50,000 plastic bags and 35,000 discarded plastic bottles into “sustainable” sneakers.
Bhave got the inspiration for his footwear company in 2017 while pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The company name “Thaely” literally means “plastic carrier bags” in Hindi. According to Bhave, the idea for Thaely was part of a design project he worked on while he was a student.
Now Bhave has turned his college project idea into a successful and sustainable business model. Bhave said that every pair of Thaely Y2K Pro sneakers currently selling for $100 comes with 10 bags and 12 bottles. Bhave says his business is already profitable and plans to sell around 25,000 pairs of shoes by the end of this year.
While Thaely’s shoes are products “Made in India”, the startup plans to go global with expansion into foreign markets such as Dubai, Europe, America and Australia. You can learn more about Thaely in the following video.