A Sanskrit word for the twig used to kindle fire, ‘Arani’ was conceived in December 2019 as a new year’s resolution to spread awareness about one stark fact – our world is drowning in plastic.
But we also realized that stating the problem wouldn’t be enough. For a change to happen, innovative and affordable alternatives need to be made available to consumers. So that is the journey we’re on now, and have started it with simple bamboo products that can go a long way if enough of us make the switch!
Yes, it is. That is at the core of what we stand for and we ensure that everything including the product, its primary packaging, the boxes used for shipping and even the tape used for reinforcing them is free of petrochemical-derived plastic.
Yes, plastic is recyclable – but that significantly varies by nature of plastic. Also, segregation and recovery play a huge role in the actual implementation of recycling, the rates of which are very low across the world (11-13%). So, while it is certainly a legitimate way of treating plastic, it is an overwhelmed system (due to limited capacity) and by reducing our consumption at source, we can contribute in a way much larger than we may realize.
Oxo-biodegradation is simply another word for weathering. Of course, anything left out there to face the forces of nature would break down – physically. But the chemical nature of plastic would remain unchanged for hundreds, and sometimes thousands of years. It would in fact take an even more dangerous form of ‘microplastics’ that have already started accumulating in our food, our oceans and the rain.
We agree that there is no perfect alternative to plastic.
But not all of it is bad. In fact, it has become so pervasive because it is versatile, durable and inexpensive. As a material, plastic has contributed to our development and safety in a big way, and has become a problem only in the last few decades due to overuse and single use.
To put this in context, we’d like to share some very stark data that the team at the University of California, Santa Barbara had put together.
A total of 448 million tons of plastic was produced in 2015, as follows:
Conclusion? The largest use of plastic is for the shortest duration. By us as individuals. And that is why we can change this.
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource and can grow into a structural column within 3 years. Processing it is also much less resource intensive, even when compared to other biodegradable materials like paper. It also has natural anti-microbial properties which can be enhanced by simple carbonization processes, making it very suitable for personal care products.
There may be variation in the texture and color of the toothbrushes/other bamboo products and the engraving on them. Bamboo columns have very different personalities (quite literally!) and products retain some of those properties unless they’re processed heavily.
We are working on a wide range of personal and home care products to remove plastic films, wraps and bottles used in their packaging, and hope to make them available very shortly.