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Interview with Dhruv Boruah - his eco-piphany

Presentation at plastic-free hackathon
Image by Matthew Osborn on Unsplash

The Beagle Button is a sustainability tech start-up. We have designed a tool that helps you shop more sustainably online. Whether it's plastic free, recycled, vegan, ethically sourced or any other of our carefully selected metrics, we'll find you recommendations for better alternatives when you shop online. We aim to make sustainability accessible and affordable for everyday items, from furniture to shoes. It might seem difficult to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle, but that is not the case. We all just need the right tools and a little inspiration.

We wanted to share some of the amazing people driving the sustainable revolution, who have inspired us in the hope that they will do the same for you. We were lucky enough to chat Dhruv Boruah, climate activist, investor and founder of the Plastic Hackathon (where Beagle was born).

Dhruv Boruah

As Dhruv points out, plastic isn’t always the enemy. If you already have a perfectly good toothbrush or reusable plastic bottle the worst thing you could do would be to throw it away. Make use of what you already have until the end of its lifespan before swapping it for a more sustainable alternative.

Dhruv’s eco-piphany was sparked in 2015, while sailing from the United Kingdom to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He saw firsthand the copious amounts of marine debris littering the Atlantic Ocean. Seeing the anthropogenic effects humans have made, even in the most remote parts of the planet was a lightbulb moment. Upon returning to London, he noticed the rising amount of plastic pollution in the River Thames and realised that something needed to change.

He took it upon himself to raise awareness about the impact of plastic pollution. Dhruv attached floats to his bamboo bike and began cycling along the River Thames collecting plastic!

“It all starts here from the river before it reaches the ocean so let’s stop chucking out plastic waste into the river.”

News of Dhruv’s actions spread worldwide, raising awareness with over 300 million people - he went viral! Looking at how far his message had spread in the national and international media, Dhruv started thinking about how he could turn the attention into action.

In 2019, Dhruv established the world’s first plastic hackathon, at Imperial College, London. Bringing together industry experts, scientists, activists and sustainability champions to develop scalable solutions to tackle global plastic pollution. Producing the spark for both our very own Beagle and the refillable beauty brand Circla. Dhruv’s journey to creating the Plastic Hackathon was recently captured on the BBC World Service.

To end our interviews, we ask all interviewee’s about their top sustainable swaps. Dhruv’s top tip is to use your existing products instead of buying more plastic things, even if they are going to last longer. Once these reach the end of their lifespan, make the swap - the worst thing you can do is buy plastic-free alternatives to things you already own!

“Don’t buy a new bamboo toothbrush yet if your old toothbrush is perfectly usable.”

Our interview with Dhruv is the sixth in a series of interviews, stay tuned to hear about future plastic hackathons - the world needs all the help it can get! In this series we plan to ask each interviewee what their eco-piphany was. How did that moment change their life? And what is their top sustainability swap. We look forward to sharing other interviews and blog posts from this series soon. The team at Beagle hopes you are staying warm and sane this lockdown.

We are proud to say that we are growing everyday, and hope to pave the way for anyone trying to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Feel free to check out our Instagram or Facebook page, and don’t forget to sign up online for the Beagle Button tool.

We are currently in the beta phase of our product launch, so if you install our chrome extension tool please let us know if you stumble upon something you think could be improved!