The year was 2018, when Mahbub Sumon decided to do his bit for the environment. Along with his three friends, this young climate activist from Bangladesh founded Shalbrikhkho, a Bangladeshi startup that aims at helping people reuse, reduce and recycle daily-use products.
Two of Mahbub's projects -- BONKAGOJ and plastic from potatoes (POLKA) -- have already caught the attention of thousands across social media platforms. Mahbub opened up about his work in an interview with UNB.
Q. What motivated you to work on renewable energy and eco-friendly alternatives?
While doing some basic research on the alternative power sector and renewable energy prospects, I figured out climate change as the biggest crisis for the human race.
For environmental sustainability, I soon started working on a couple of ideas like natural agriculture for cities and alternative sources of energy. Soon I focussed on developing eco-friendly alternatives to various plastic products.
I experimented with permaculture using BONKAGOJ and succeeded. The principle was -- since paper is made from trees, we can use that paper to grow a tree again. I also developed POLKA (plastics from potatoes) as an alternative to polyethene.
I am also experimenting with different innovative projects in the renewable energy sector and alternative eco-friendly lifestyle changes.
Q. What is BONKAGOJ?
BONKAGOJ, a biodegradable product, is made from recycled paper and embedded with different plant seeds. It's a handmade paper that can be used like any other ordinary paper. But after its use, if anyone puts the paper in a soggy pot, a flower garden will sprout from it within weeks.
Worldwide billions of trees are chopped down every year, many for producing paper. Single-use paper and paper products pollute cities. So, I harped on the idea of turning waste papers into a flower garden to save the environment.