Envigreen Comes Out With 100% Biodegradable Plastic Bags!
An NRI entrepreneur based in Qatar, Mr. Ashwath Hegde has come up with an innovative idea of making bags with natural ingredients! This might not amuse you much at first instant as paper bags are already being widely used all over. However, these bags, which are manufactured using eco-friendly method are 100% biodegradable and has the look and feel of a plastic.
Since many cities in India have imposed a ban on plastic bags, people usually carry their own bags to the market. Mr. Hegde observed that most people forget to carry a bag to the market or mall to buy groceries and usually buy jute bags or plastic bags (plastic bags of permitted microns).
However, jute bags and hard paper bags are costly and some people can’t afford to buy them. Mr. Hegde wanted to address this problem by offering an alternative solution and after 4 years of research, he developed a new type of plastic.
The Manufacturing Process:
This plastic manufacturing process comprises of creating bags using 12 ingredients – potatoes, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana, and flower oil. These ingredients are liquefied and taken through a six-step process. This process, does not use any chemicals and even the paints used to print on the bags are all natural and organic.
Envigreen produces about 1000 metric ton of these eco-friendly bags every month!
How Eco-friendly Are the Bags?
These eco-friendly bags will take about 180 days to completely break down in the soil. It dissolves in a day when placed in a glass of water and is soluble in boiling water when kept for 15 minutes. When burnt, these bags do not emit any toxic fumes. Since they are also edible, it will not harm animals should they ingest it. Mr. Hegde had consumed a small piece of the bag to vouch for its edibility!
Prior to releasing these bags for public usage, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board conducted several tests on them. These tests included placing a hot iron on a piece of EnviGreen sheet and burning it. The bag did not melt, drip nor did it release any toxic fumes. The Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Sriram Institute for Industrial Research have also conducted several tests to prove its biodegradable feature.
Carry bags are not the only products that Envigreen manufactures. The company has also launched products like packaging materials and medical aprons. This innovation has led brands like L’Oréal Metro Cash and Carry and Reliance to place orders with them.
Mr. Hegde hopes to setup more manufacturing units in the future to address the growing demand of his green plastic bag.