Dr. Binish Desai: The Recycle Man of India
At the age of 11, Binish conceptualized the idea of using chewing gum and paper to create a sustainable solution. This idea sprouted when his chewing gum got stuck to his pants, which he later enclosed in a piece of paper. The sealed gum and paper hardened into a thick block, leading him to believe that he could design a brick using the same materials.
His convictions turned out to be true when he created his first commercial prototype using his innovative P-block bricks (made from gum & paper) for cost-effective housing. He further refined this process by introducing an organic binder in place of the chewing gum. This innovation led to the establishment of his company ‘BDream Foundation’ in 2010, which manufactured hand-made P-block bricks.
Eco Eclectic Technologies:
Dr. Binish’s belief that nothing in the world is a waste led him to delve deeper into waste management. Despite facing challenges, including a lack of support from his family, he built his firm with his savings.
Empowering Rural Women:
While constructing eco-friendly houses and toilets, Dr. Binish realized the importance of empowering rural women. He established micro-social enterprises and factories in various villages, allowing people to develop their products and earn a livelihood. In 2017, he started Ecolite Studio, a socio-economical platform primarily to empower widows and uneducated rural women. This platform stands as a testament to converting trash into luxury products.
Binish Desai’s latest invention, Brick 2.0, is designed from discarded face masks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he focused on converting used face masks into bricks. He studied the material of the masks, a non-woven fiber, and mixed them with special binders created in his lab. The successful ratio for these bricks was 52% PPE, 45% paper waste, and 3% binder. These bricks are stronger and more durable than conventional bricks, making them an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.
Desai’s efforts have earned him several accolades and recognition, such as being named one of Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs in 2018, receiving the Rotary International Alumni Humanitarian of the Year award for South Asia, being nominated for the Padma Shri award, and featuring in a book titled The Recycle Man: Journey of a 10-Year-Old Boy to Becoming a Waste Warrior.
Desai believes that nothing is useless in this world and that waste can be turned into wealth with the right tools and mindset. He lives by his motto: “There is nothing useless in this world; what might be a waste to you is someone’s asset”. He hopes to inspire more people to join him in his mission to make the world a cleaner and greener place.