"We use residual waste from several textile and agriculture industries such as lemongrass, coffee pulping, flax companies to achieve the goals by converting and upcycling its residual waste into paper"
The company was co-founded by Kavya Madappa and Nikhil Reddy. Nikhil supervises the exports and digital domain of the business whereas Kavya researches and invents how to produce paper without hurting trees and saving the environment. They together guide their teams at Bluecat paper to manage exports efficiently and carry-on extensive research on the new market. Their expertise and dedication have accelerated growth for the company including research in new markets and customer acquisition both in domestic and international markets. “We provide training to unskilled workers and help them transform into skilled paper and product makers. We enable female empowerment to pay equal wages and motivate our employees to export quality products. Our team of craftsmen, designers make visually appealing products that are functional too,” both Nikhil and Kavya confirm. The management team comprises of the customer service team, digital media team, and finance team forming the core team necessary for smooth operations.
Overcame Challenges To Meet Certain Objectives
Research says that about 3.3 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year to manufacture paper from trees. This also paves the way for the destruction of wildlife in dense forests and other adverse effects on the ecosystem. Therefore, to save trees and water, Kavya went through extensive and in-depth research and successfully discovered ways to manufacture tree-free paper. She found out that pulp and water are the two most important ingredients needed to produce papers. “I learned that any pulp with more than 68 percent of cellulose is perfect for making paper. Therefore, we extract pulp from various cellulose-rich agriculture and textile wastes such as flax, lemongrass, mulberry, rice stubble, coffee husk, banana stumps, coconut husk, and others to make papers,” Kavya narrates.
Tree-free paper is still not very popular in society today. To build an environment-friendly paper producing business it was challenging to set up a unit with rudimentary machines and convince the team. Expensive trial and error as the part of engineering setups for machines (all made in India) was also implemented to convert textile and agriculture wastes into paper this in itself was an uphill task. Again, the non-willingness of big corporations to switch to tree-free paper owing to the costs being higher than regular paper was another big challenge. Therefore, Bluecat Paper began a relentless pursuit to make this paper cheaper and more machines were introduced to convert the wastes into paper.
Circularity And Recycling Of Industrial Wastes To Produce Papers
Kavya Madappa’s first entrepreneurial venture started with Amanvana spa resort in Coorg, where she planted over 300 species of plants and the resort is now a home of 65 species of birds. Planting, nurturing, and cutting down of trees are expensive processes and thus alternative ways of papermaking are more desirable to conserve our planet. Therefore, Kavya had to go through a lot of study for the papermaking processes to understand how discarded cellulose rich waste could be turned into paper. This kind of paper is created from residual wastes from textile and agricultural industries, and no wood pulp is used. All its raw materials are comprised of residual cotton rags, linen rags, coffee husk, banana fiber, mulberry, corn husk, elephant poo, bagasse, vetiver grass, ragi, tea waste, flax fiber and elephant poo even! This cellulose rich waste makes paper for all purposes such as notebooks, gift wraps, bags, etc. This helps the company to achieve its zero waste goals, which can in turn save trees from being cut.
With a vision to produce alternative and sustainable paper without cutting or destroying trees, the company started making decomposable papers and created a model that is both sustainable and environment friendly
“We collect around 20 tons of secondary waste from 100 farmers and five factory units every 4 months. We help the environment by not letting the waste pile up in landfills, but also pay for the raw materials and help monetize the farmers to prevent them from burning waste,” Kavya affirms. This helps to save about 30 tons of wood per month and a minimum of 55,000 liters of water perday.
Bluecat Paper offers about twenty varieties of papers including cotton rag paper, lemongrass, banana fiber, elephant wastes, flax fiber, linen, hemp, mulberry, corn husk, seed paper, rice stubble, coconut fiber, tea paper, coffee husk paper and elephant poo. The company sources most of its raw materials such as cotton and linen rags, banana stump fiber, coconut husk, etc., from towns around Bangalore. It works tirelessly to educate a set of textile industries about the segregation of textile from the rest of the debris. After a long process of beating, pulping, and sheet formation, a beautiful strong sheet of paper is turned into multiple products. The company is even producing papers out of elephant poo collected from sanctuaries. In addition to the above, its newly added product includes spent barley paper created from the waste of breweries. It also manufactures seed paper with seeds ranging from vegetables, herbs, and flowers. The designers and artisans in the company work in unison to upcycle these wastes into compelling designs to produce sketchbooks carry bags, journals, calendars, home decor, files, folders, stationery sets, and many more.
Nikhil Reddy, Co-founder
Bluecat Paper’s Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) is a Waste Water Treatment Process (WWTP) used to treat wastewater from different industries. The conceptual approach of the treatment includes the removal of suspended particles, dissolved organic matters, and the handling of sludge for disposal. “Our factory has an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) on the premises, which recycles water that can be utilized again in production. We efficiently recycle the water, and it is easy to do so when you add no chemicals. The paper is acid free and archival,” Kavya confirms proudly.
Achievements So Far And Further Goals To Meet
Bluecat Paper has specialized in reducing waste by adopting upcycling methods as well as using techniques that reduce consumption of water by recycling over 65000 liters of water per day. It has saved over 70000 trees and recycled or upcycled exceeding 100000 tons of residual waste since its inception. It creates highend, rustic, and premium quality paper made from highquality organic material and is naturally strong. “We are committed to offer competitive prices and excellent buyer service. We have exported to over 30 countries worldwide like the USA, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Russia, Australia, and even South America and others,” Nikhil adds further. He also mentions that Bluecat paper`s strength lies in its repeat orders and referrals. Bluecatpaper also invites feedback by maintaining constant touch with its customers to improve and grow in the long run.
Bluecat Paper has been shortlisted by the Global Energy Awards in Austria and the result for the same is yet to be declared. The company is focused on introducing new energy saving machines as well as making the paper process faster. “We hope to enter mainstream markets and plan to hold papermaking workshops to educate children and adults as well. We are also keen to explore new materials such as discarded denim, cotton linter, etc. along with the plan to expand the Bluecat Paper unit for betterment,” Nikhil concludes.