Frequently Asked Questions

What is Without by Ashaya?

Without is a sustainability-driven startup that transforms "impossible-to-recycle" plastic waste, like packets of chips, into high-quality, recyclable materials and products, such as the world's first recycled sunglasses. Our process deeply empowers waste-pickers, contributing to both environmental and social sustainability.

How does Without contribute to sustainability?

We use a patent-pending technology to upcycle metalized multi-layered plastic packaging (MLP) into premium products. This not only diverts waste from landfills but also provides dignified employment and higher income for waste-pickers.

What products does Without offer?

Our flagship product is recycled sunglasses made from MLP waste. We also explore other sustainable lifestyle products, all made with the same commitment to quality, sustainability, and social impact.

Where does Without source its materials?

We source our waste materials directly from local waste-picker collectives at a premium, providing them with additional income. This waste is then transformed into high-quality materials and products in our Pune-based facility.

How can I purchase Without products?

Our products are available for purchase only through our official website as of now. We will explore other channels in the future as we grow. Meanwhile, stay tuned for updates on new product launches and availability.

How is Without different from other recycling initiatives?

Without's unique approach lies in its combination of deep technology, focus on materials considered "impossible" to recycle, and a business model that integrates waste-pickers into our supply chain, significantly improving their livelihoods. ALso, our technology extracts materials from MLP and converts them into more recyclable materials compared to most other MLP recycling technologies which either burns or modifies the form, delaying the inevitable.

How can I learn more about Without's impact?

Visit our "Our Impact" section on the website to learn about the environmental and social benefits of our work, including waste diverted from landfills, carbon footprint reduction, and improvement in waste-pickers' lives. For more detailed inquiries, please contact us at

What happened to your campaign of donating 10% of sales towards education of children's wastepickers?

Until February 9th, 2024, we donated 10% of our MRP-priced sales to SWaCH Cooperative who used it for scholarships for children of waste-pickers, incentivizing them to stay in school. So far at least 30 children have received these scholarships. But recently, after consulting with our CS, CA and our lawyers, we have been advised that as per the Companies Act (Section 181), it's not possible for us to donate the way that we have done (only profitable companies are allowed to donate, we haven't broken even yet). Our intent was to help, but the law doesn't allow it! So we are stopping this moving forward, but we will come back to this. Meanwhile, we have set up our own non-profit that will parallely work on similar initiatives. In the end, the best way to make impact is to have a hybrid, transparent structure of a non-profit and a private limited to move our cause forward.

What part of the sunglasses are made from recycled materials?

Only the frame is made from recycled plastic (specifically polyolefins) extracted from multi-layered plastic (please see "Our Tech" page to go deeper into how our tech works). The hinges and the lenses are sourced from conventional manufacturers. We also put a polyurethene-based coating on the frame to protect it from sweat and scratches, and it gives the frames a nice finish (which customers had complained about when we didn't put the coating). Practically all sunglasses manufacturers put a coat on the base material, even though this reduces the overall circularity of the product. Eventually, we want more and more of the product to be circular and made from recycled materials. But, we don't want perfect to be the enemy of good.

What does "100% recycled material + 10pph additives" mean?

In the plastic and the plastic recycling industry, additives and compatibilizers are not included in the "100%" calculation, only the base polymers are. Additives and compatibilizers are considered as additions in "parts-per-hundred". For instance, a typical mix could be 70% virgin plastic, 30% recycled plastic and 10 PPH additives. But this is considered "100% recycled" though it's more close to 90%. Most companies don't reveal how much PPH additives they add as it's proprietary. Initially, we used to say 90% recycled + 10% additives and compatibilizers, but we were shooting ourselves in the foot. So we decided to go the middle ground - 100% recycled + ~10PPH additives and compatibilizers. This way we don't shoot ourselves in the foot and are still transparent about our work. Again, perfect can be the enemy of good, but we'll keep striving for it!