Biodegradable Bags to Replace Plastic Bags in India
Biodegradable bag made of starch from maize are likely to replace regular polythene bags in India.
Government is planning to introduce a bag made from natural starch-based products including maize. Government of India is focused on finding alternative for plastic after imposing ban on usage of plastic bags. Biodegradable bags are the best alternative option for plastics as they do not harm animals if swallowed by them. “We are looking into alternatives that would be eco-friendly and easy on the pocket of consumers. Among few options, biodegradable bags fit best into our requirements,” said an official from environment department. These bags already are in use in some part of the country including Madhya Pradesh where plastic bags too have been banned recently.
According to Biodegradable Packaging Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, Biodegradable materials break down the material and return to natural state within a short time after disposal. The biodegradable polymers used for packaging are starch, polylactic acid (PLA), cellulose, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). The bags have been certified by third-party testing agencies both in India. These bags have also been certified by Central Government Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET). A person or shopkeeper flouting norms is liable to five years of imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh penalty.
Government is also planning to install vending machines to dispense cloth bags as alternative for plastic carry bags. These machines are expected to be installed at public places such as vegetable markets, malls, and shopping complexes. For mass manufacturing, environment department is expected to collaborate with textile associations, which has received principle approval in July 2017.
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