WATER Bangladesh

The filters providing clean, safe water for BoP consumers at grocery store pricing

Folia Materials was founded by two scientists with a green chemistry process to make a simple antimicrobial paper water purifier using nano-metallised paper, manufactured using large-scale paper and low cost of paper mills. Folia Water Filters are a simple, antimicrobial paper water filter for Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) consumers, which retail at the same 20 cent pricing as other grocery store staples for 20 liters of safe, germ-free water. Folia Water Filters use silver to kill bacteria and viruses, while the paper’s pores physically eliminate dirt, iron, and larger pathogens to make water safe to drink. Packaged like a simple coffee filter, Folia’s product is designed to be simple and fit into the containers that consumers already use in their kitchens, such as Bangladeshi kolshis pitchers.

Partnering with the BOP Innovation Centre, the company’s business model is to sell large volumes of its patented material to consumer goods distributors that have the expertise and know-how to handle country-scale distribution and sales. The role of TRANSFORM is to help Folia Water distribute and market the product in rural Bangladesh. 

Over the course of 18 months, the project will test D2D female agents for education and activation around the product to create demand and drive consumer behaviour and sales, reaching 10,000 households in rural Bangladesh. For long-term sales, it will focus on B2B sales to consumer goods enterprise corporates, with the country-scale distribution and sales reach to micro-entrepreneurs at local food & beverage grocery kiosks.

 

Folia Water’s mission is universal access to safe drinking water by bridging materials innovation to mass market consumer goods. Universal access to safe drinking water can only be achieved by enabling working-class consumers to have agency over their own access to safe water. Folia Water is showing how materials innovation, connected to the existing tools of mass-market consumer good businesses, can achieve this Sustainable Development Goal.

With TRANSFORM’s support, an increased distribution reach would provide BoP consumers in Bangladesh with safe drinking water and get them onto a water filter product ladder to long-term durable good appliances. The overall aim is to reach up to 10 million consumers by 2025.