ERNAKULAM : It was a casual conversation among three friends — Ramesh Janardhanan, Abid Pandhakkil and Sujith Unnikrishnan, the actor more famous as Sunny Wayne. The topic: cleanliness and waste management systems. And that led to the project Planet Earth Eco Solutions, under which they have set up a soon-to-be plastic recycling plant at Aluva. Concerned that over 14 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean, polluting marine life and harming the environment, they wanted to do something rather than question the government.
“Living in places where the streets and open spaces are kept clean, I was disturbed by the way our city was. And question arose — How can I contribute my education and expertise to solve the problem? It was then, over a video call with Abid and Sunny during the pandemic, we decided to start our venture,” said Ramesh, an IT professional.
Two years on, the project is evolving in a good way, says Sunny. “We realised there is a gap which we, as citizens, can fill in. And without a second thought, we began our journey,” the actor recounts. “We are fulfilling our promises made to Haritha Karma Sena, with whom we have collaborated in segregating plastic waste.”
Planet Earth has formed tie-ups with local bodies in Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kollam, Thrissur and Palakkad districts to source recyclable waste materials. “We also move rejected or non-recyclable materials like leather, rexine and multilayer plastics, and send them to factories where they are used as fuel,” Ramesh points out.
At its 5,000 sq ft plant, over two tonnes of plastic is sorted daily and sent for recycling to different places. “Discussions are on to start the second stage, of recycling and converting plastic into granules,” says Abid.
In another six months, they plan to run the second yard of plastic recycling in Alappuzha, says Ramesh.
“For an organisation to exist, we need a viable business model. We have proved ourselves successful in that regard.” While Ramesh takes care of the contracts with local bodies, logistics and the inward material flow, Abid handles operations, stocks and sales. Sunny directs the team with his valuable suggestions.
Planet Earth currently has 12 employees.