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Yes, yes, Bangalore is full of nerds trying to make your life more sustainable. What stopped us in our tracks this time was a plum-coloured carrying case for wine bottles, rich and beautiful in the leanly muscled way of all hyper-fit things.

Sure enough, it turns out to be good for health. This bottle-box, along with bright, pretty plates in eye-catching geometric patterns, travel cases for fruit, even a lunchbox for a sandwich, are the work of three planters from Kerala and one German. 

Their company Bio-lutions has a very technical name, but does cool work, sourcing agricultural waste directly from farmers in Mandya to make attractive products. Big Basket, we learn, switched to using their “green” boxes earlier this year. 

 “We wanted to make a slick product, something that really pops out of the shelf, and sticks in your memory." 

Farm To Fable

The firm’s MD is an architect and product designer who used to work with Titan before he decided to keep an eye on our big global climate countdown. "Designing this was great fun,” says Kurien Mathew. “We wanted to make a slick product, something that really pops out of the shelf, and sticks in your memory." His team’s first experiments, eighteen months ago, included plant-based materials from potato and tomato. (Yum?) The plates you’ll now eat out of are made with “pineapple leaves, tomato stems, and banana stems and leaves,” he says. “What would otherwise be disposed or marginally used to compost, now fetches farmers an additional income.” 

Their tableware experiments include paper, areca and cane plates that you can currently call to order, and will be in stores later this year. “This we would like to retail through a state based distribution network in supermarkets across the country,” Kurien says. When you dispose it off in your wet waste, “it will return to the earth in one month to ninety days.” 

We’re told you may also soon be using their cups once they’re done designing a line of tableware and take-away utensils for the big coffee shop in your neighbourhood (which we’re absolutely not allowed to name). At this rate, does it even matter that the US has exited the Paris Accords, we ask? By 2018, Kurien says, they’ll be making “100 million pieces,” ready to gently push plastic out of your life forever. You might just have put us in the mood for a party. 

Getting there: Email Bio-lutions at for inquiries, see more at

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