Instead of plastic cups and straws, juice is served in fruit shells with straws made of banana leaves.
Eat Raja, a juice bar located in Bengaluru's Malleshwaram suburb, emulates environment-friendly juice drinking. Instead of plastic cups and straws, juice is served in fruit shells with straws made of banana leaves. The juice bar also encourages patrons to bring their own containers from home for takeaways.
Anand Raaj is the man behind the zero-waste juice bar. A former radio jockey, Raaj quit his job to run his father’s old juice shop. He transformed the shop into a zero-waste one. Fruits and vegetables are locally sourced, keeping in mind business for local vendors. Raaj also divides the waste into wet and dry and has involved women from across Malleshwaram to help develop different juice recipes.
The shop makes bio-enzyme cleaners with citrus fruit; scraps from other fruits are used in composting or used as food for cows. Besides its eco-friendly initiatives, Eat Raja also encourages people to quit smoking. The juice bar offers a free glass of juice to those who want to give up smoking.
To begin with, Raaj got rid of plastic bottles from the shop, which he believes was one of the most difficult decisions because it meant doing away with Cola bottles and also mineral water bottles, which contributed to the revenue to a great extent. He decided to keep the menu limited to everything made with fresh fruit and only recently added gunpowder masala and chocolates, which are both made by local mothers.
Eat Raja calls itself India’s first zero-waste juice bar and even has an Instagram account with over 18k followers. The menu includes not just gem-hued fruit juice but also milkshakes. There are also ‘fruit combos’, which the owner may recommend.
During the process of transitioning from a regular juice shop to a zero-waste juice shop, Raaj didn’t face any resistance from customers, who happily accepted the new model. Outside of the shop, he also talks to students and other people about living a sustainable life.