Fill it. Serve it. But, don’t forget it!

Hindustan Times, Lucknow

Hindustan, 17-Jan-2008
Fill it. Serve it. But don't forget it!
Giving this supari is harmless
Waking up to Aroma of Farm Fresh Food
Pioneering Spirit - Season 3
Hindustan, 5-Jun-2012
Hartola Travel Guide - Kumaon Himalaya
Profile - Simply Natural
Hindustan, 15-Jul-2011
Hindustan, 10-Nov-2010

GREEN DISHES They are made of naturally shed supari tree bark. The eco-dish brand Simply Natural is the latest craze in the city.

Rohit Sharma, 33, a young Lucknow entrepreneur is making business out of environment protection. The products he makes and sells are good for public health too. He wants to wipe out the culture of “thermocol” and plastic disposable plates and accessories and replace them with his organic “eco-plates”.
The eco-plates are made out of the barks that areca nut (supari) tree shedand are certified organic.

Sharma says: “Growing environment concerns are spurring people to go for my products. Several sweet shops and ‘chat’ shops, bakeries, caterers, canteens-here and elsewhere-have started using my ec-plates”, said Sharma who makes the products under Simply Natural label.

It is no secret that therocol and plastic plates are not only detrimental to Nature but also hazardous to human and animal health. Many animals, while licking leftover food offend up gobbling the plates as well. “The eco-plates do not harm animals. Instead, if consumed, a plate would satiate hunger because ultimately the eco-plates are plant product in its natural form”, said Sharma.

He says,”The plates are manufactured only from the barks the trees shed.” The plates come in many sizes. The term eco-plates include bowls too.

The areca nut tree does not grow here, so where does Sharma manufacture them? He replies: “In southern India. One of my friends came up with the idea of making eco-friendly disposables from areca nut tree barks. We experimented and made 18 different shapes for Indian and International markets. The manufacturing idea was his, while I converted it into a business. Our products are picking up in the unorganized as well as organized retail food industry”.

The product is manufactured in Kerala but is marketed from Lucknow. Compressing the areca bark into different shapes through machines makes the plates. The company’s current production capacity is 540000 pieces per month and would be increased three-fold in next few months because an additional manufacturing unit is coming up in New Jalpaiguri (North Eastern India).

Some of the places in Lucknow, according to Sharma, where these eco-friendly plates are used are – Neelkanth, Chappan Bhog, JJ Bakers, Radhey Lal, Parampara, Shivaaz, Mahalaxmi, Exer Club, Drooly caterers, MK caterers, Kamal Caterers, Crazy Ball and Jaiswal Caterers. Rohit once worked with an organic products company that is largely responsible for his obsession with environment and health.

“Star Cruise, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and IRCTC have shown interest in introducing the products”, said Sharma who has regularly been exporting the products to Israel, US and UK.