839. 1234
14181. 66
Plastic Elimination Index

839 million people ate safe meals

14181 tonnes of good garbage

839. 1234
14181. 66
Plastic Elimination Index

839 million people ate safe meals

14181 tonnes of good garbage

The Journey of CHUK: From an Idea to a sustainable business model

You are an environment enthusiast. You are constantly worried about plastic pollution and the irresponsible way people throw plastic bags, containers, and plates after a single use. But what will you do to stop it?

Approach a media house to come up with a story. Or conduct an awareness drive? Will it address the root cause of the issue and offer an alternative?

Ved Krishna, Vice-Chairman and Founder of CHUK, stands out here. He is trying to tackle environmental pollution by offering an alternative to plastic using agricultural residue by launching his brand CHUK.

KK Jhunjhunwala, an entrepreneur, motorcyclist, traveller, and Ved’s father started Yash Pakka Limited almost five decades ago. They were pioneers in the sustainable packaging industry. In 2017, Ved launched CHUK to address the mounting garbage issues and offer compostable food packaging. 

The company, based in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, India, contributes to the fight for sustainability by manufacturing eco-friendly disposable food containers, disposable food delivery containers and takeaway food packaging under their brand CHUK. CHUK offers compostable plates, delivery bowls, and takeaway containers in bulk and in various sizes, shapes, and compartments to serve different cuisines. The company uses sugarcane pulp as the primary raw material for its products, readily available in Uttar Pradesh. This state is the largest producer of sugarcane in India.

Innovative thinking to solve an issue

Many want to contribute their bit to the environment. But the founder of CHUK took a different route. Instead of crafting awareness programs, he decided to show them it was possible. So he plunged into a business model that would take care of the environment and pave the way for a sustainable business model.

When you have a business, you need to operate it and ensure that it is scalable so that salaries are paid, and it becomes a sustainable model. And the same happened with CHUK. CHUK is unique because while the aim is to impact the environment, they are using business as a medium to achieve it.

CHUK collects the agricultural residue, sugarcane bagasse, which farmers and sugar mill owners otherwise burn. It converts it into a pulp and moulds it into biodegradable plates as wholesale, compostable items like plates, bowls, containers and more.

CHUK’s products are 100% natural and made from sugarcane bagasse. They have a factory on 75 acres with state–of–the–art manufacturing processes. Converting sugarcane bagasse into biodegradable food packaging and disposable tableware involves mechanical, chemical, electronic, and automation engineering.

Started in Ayodhya in UP, the sugarcane belt of India, CHUK’s first market was in Delhi. But today, they are present across India, supplying quick service restaurants, hotels, the travel industry and more. From mere three and 4-compartment plates, they have moved to plates, bowls, and containers of various sizes and shapes, catering to a wide range of audiences, including restaurant chains and family events, including weddings. In addition, the startup provides eco-friendly and carcinogen-free tableware to the Indian Railways, The Park, Hyatt, Haldiram’s, Google, PVR, Inox, Amazon, Starbucks, A2B, and Chai Point, to name a few.

The growth story

Yash Pakka Limited, the parent company of CHUK, has seen a 50% year-on-year growth in revenue since the launch of CHUK. In anticipation of a surge in demand due to the government’s draft notification of the ban on plastic tableware, the company ramped up production in October 2020 and added 30% additional capacity to its production unit in Ayodhya. As a result, the company’s output increased from 10 tonnes per day in FY 2020-21 to 14 tonnes per day in FY 2021-22, a 40% increase in daily production.

Their disposable plates and bowls are suitable for delivering gravies and soups, and they are sturdy, leakproof and deliver food without spilling. They also have CHUK party caddy, a disposable combo pack ready to use, toss and easy on the earth. It comes as one party pack.

The USP of CHUK’s products are eco-friendly disposables, toxin-free, backyard compostable, microwaveable, ovenable and freezable.

The numbers say it all

They produce 13-15 metric tonnes of compostable tableware, one million pieces daily. They have 17 distribution partners for B2B and are also present in the chosen international market.

90% of their products go to QSR (quick service restaurants), and the sector is forecasted to reach 827.63 billion in Y25. So as the QSR industry grows, their sales, too, will prosper.

The ban on single-use plastic has also helped the startup scale faster. With an increased awareness of environmental pollution, people are looking at alternative and safe options for disposable tableware, food packaging materials and restaurant takeout containers. While a single-use plastic piece will decompose for up to 500 years, CHUK’s products are biodegradable and turn into organic manure in less than 90 days.

With a steady annual growth rate of 30 per cent, the eco-friendly and biodegradable tableware manufacturer CHUK expects to grow 300 to 400 per cent by touching INR 100 crore revenue this year.

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