Earlier in this year March 14, plastic bags were banned in the country as they are hazardous to environment. However, with certain reasonable exceptions they were allowed to use in packaging of dairy products, exporting goods, sealing manufactured goods and for growing seedlings in nurseries.
Even after banning, plastics are still being used in numerous cities of India. According to ordinary citizens, Plastics are cost effective, durable and easy to use.
THE ENVIGREEN BAGS
So, by taking ordinary citizen’s problem into account a new Eco-friendly bag have been introduced to the market. These bags are 100% organic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly.
These bags are produced by the company named EnviGreen founded by Ashwath Hegde, a Mangalore-born, but currently based in Qatar. He is an NRI entrepreneur.
ALTERNATIVE FOR PLASTIC BAGS
25 Years old Ashwath says that,
The Mangalore City Corporation implemented a ban on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of plastic bags in the year 2012. But the decision was taken without preparations for alternatives. People were concerned about how they would carry products from the market now. Everyone cannot afford a bag worth Rs. 5 or Rs. 15 to carry a kilogram of sugar. I decided to come up with alternatives after hearing about these problems in my hometown.
They look similar to plastic bags but they are made of Eco-friendly materials like natural starch and vegetable oil derivatives. And, when placed in glass of boiling water these bags can be dissolved easily in just 15 seconds.
Moreover, they can biodegrade naturally in less than 180 days once disposed. So users are free to throw them away, needless of worrying about environment. In addition to that, these bags are edible and cause no harm when consumed by animals.
HOW ARE THEY MADE?
The manufacturing process for these bags is completely different from other plastic, cloth, or paper bags. The company uses 12 ingredients which includes potato, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana and flower oil.
Speaking about the manufacturing process and the cost of his product, Ashwath says:
We don’t use any chemicals at all. Even the paint used for printing on the bags is natural and organic. The cost of one EnviGreen bag is about 35% more than that of a plastic bag, but 500% less than that of a cloth bag. To give you a rough idea, an EnviGreen bag measuring 13 inches by 16 inches costs Rs. 3, while a plastic bag with the same dimensions will cost Rs. 2.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has approved to use these bags. However prior to approval, it has performed several tests to make sure that, it doesn’t compose any harmful plastic elements.
The test includes many processes. In one test, hot iron was placed on small piece of EnviGreen bags. The bags neither melted nor stuck to hot iron surface confirming the absence of Plastics. Moreover, these bags wont melt, drip, or release any toxic fumes when burnt, alike normal plastic bags. Not only KSPCB, these bags were even tested by Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Sriram Institute for Industrial Research as well.
WITH FUTURE IN MIND
Aswath has setup a new factory based out in Bangalore, that develops 1000 metrics tonnes EnviGreen bags per month.
Just the city of Bangalore consumes over 30,000 metric tonnes of plastic bags every month. So we want to set up enough manufacturing facilities before we start distributing to individual customers and local kirana shop owners. We have started supplying to corporate retail chains like Metro and Reliance, which will start using the bags from December this year.
It is the duty of every citizen to protect environment which is indeed good for the overall Eco-system. These EnviGreen bags are sure make us free from plastics and make earth a safe place to all of us.
Let us know your views on EnviGreen Bags in the Comment Section below.