Exploring sustainability

The Water Hyacinth Problem

Over the course of the 20th century, Water Hyacinth has rapidly spread across the world – starving water of oxygen, cutting access to rivers and lakes, blocking sunlight, killing fish and overall threatening the value of aquatic ecosystems. Today, boosted by climate change, Water Hyacinth is causing harm in more than 100 countries confining development, access, and growth.

Proco has partnered with Rebeka Bahadorani, Chairman Of The Board at In-Between International  – a start-up company specialized in the innovative and sustainable treatment of Water Hyacinth.

In this series of blogs we explore her experiences, discover In-Between International’s current plans and speculate about the future; how far we can go with innovation and sustainability?

What is the mission for you and In-Between International?”

Our vision is to transform a pandemic, the water hyacinth which is one of the most invasive plants, into a sustainable activity providing an impactful societal and economic value as well as a positive environmental benefit.

What got you interested in your sector?

Rebeka, the founder of the company, firmly believed that there must be a solution to this pandemic, because everything on Earth should have a purpose. So she decided to embrace the challenge, looking for a potential benefit this plant could offer to the society.

What are some things you do to keep you interested, updated and inspired at In-Between International?

It is when we share our story and our goal with potential partners, customers, research institutes, etc… Their reactions are always very positive giving us the energy to go further. We always learn and discover things during these exchanges, which bring new challenges we want to tackle.

What is key to your personal success?

For Rebeka, it is perseverance. She never gives up. She has a strong ability to surround herself with good partners. She is able to dare with her natural common sense to imagine a way of making this startup an industrial adventure.

What are some of the most surprising lessons you learned along the way?

The biggest surprise may definitely be the international aspect of this project. Regardless of country or culture, people listen to our story and fall in love with it. They want to be on the boat with us. Another surprise is the discovery that this plant could really be the raw material of the future for so many everyday applications. So far, nobody has thought about it.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Our solution has been labelled by the Solar Impulse Foundation, and Rebeka was really inspired by the quote of Bertrand Piccard:  “On your way there will be plenty of people to tell you that it won’t work, but in fact nothing is impossible. Believe in your dreams “.

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