Generating rural livelihoods through earthy disposable dinnerware.

We generate sustainable livelihood amongst rural communities of India by value adding fallen leaves into biodegradable disposable tableware.

Photo of Arindam Dasgupta
0 3

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Tamul Plates Marketing Private Limited

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Barpeta, Assam

Location(s) of impact

Social India: 6 states of Eastern & North Eastern India Environmental India: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata International: London, New York, Lithuania


Facebook URL

Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Unemployment amongst rural youth is the root cause of social unrest in Eastern and North Eastern India. This region is abundant in natural resources but lacks appropriate technology and market linkages to harness it and create livelihood at village level. Secondly, toxic disposable plates are a major source of pollution in cities across the world. Each kg of polystyrene plates produces 6kgs of Co2 emission. Biodegradable alternatives is the requirement.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Tamul Plates provides appropriate technologies to rural communities to value add fallen leaves of trees locally, to produce high quality biodegradable disposable dinnerware. Simultaneously it procures the plates through a fair trade process and markets it globally. Through this process, at one end of the spectrum we provide, sustainable livelihood to rural communities and on the other end green alternatives to global consumers.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

1. Providing livelihood to 2500+ rural women and youth in the disposable plates value chain. 2. Value adding a waste material locally and marketing globally. This attracts fresh money into the local economy and boosts it, through money multiplier. 3. Provided skill training to more than 10,000 women and youth of this region. 4. Helped more than 100 micro entrepreneurs to set up production units. 5. Currently replacing 500 MT of toxic styrofoam plates. 6. Protecting local ecosystems like Manas Biosphere by reducing livelihood dependancy of communities on the forest.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Currently 90% of Tamul Plates's budget is financed through earned income. Balance 10% comes from awards or specific contributions for research and development etc. Tamul has already raised first round of seed capital from two external social investors in 2015-16. In the upcoming expansion phase, Tamul not only wants to increase its earned income, but also raise more equity from existing and new investors.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The unique value proposition of Tamul Plates lies in its model. On one hand we provide technical, financial and marketing linkage support to the rural producers in the complete value chain. It is just not about creating a value chain but to simplify the process for each and every stakeholder and create a win-win relationship for all. On the other hand, our products suits the needs of the modern lifestyle, makes it appealing for the consumers and reduces pollution.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Tamul Plates is the childhood dream of three friends who wanted to link the worlds of rural development and commercial enterprise together. The enterprise is an effort to provide solutions to the unemployment problems faced by the youth of this country from three young entrepreneurs. Tamul Plates, is the realisation of the dream of these three friends to promote entrepreneurship and generate sustainable livelihoods.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media
View more

Attachments (4)

Awards .pdf

This document contains the awards and recognitions that Tamul Plates has received in the last 8 years.

Arecana Catalogue (with food).pdf

Catalogue of Arecana, the biodegradable disposable dinnerware.

Tamul Profile.pdf

Tamul profile contains the genesis of Tamul Plates, the impact we have created and our expansion plan.

Creating youth employment in Assam while reducing plastic waste, A case study by

SEED is a UNEP and UNDP founded organisation which promotes entrepreneurship for sustainable development.


Join the conversation: