Plastics are one of the main unsolvable problems that contribute to Earth’s wellbeing. Ever since there is plastic, the world changed not for the better. Most of the time, we can’t go anywhere without seeing plastic waste around us.
It’s definitely a problem. How is it not when out of 8.3 billion metric tons produced plastics, 91% of them aren’t recycled? The majority of plastics accumulate in landfills and end up polluting the ocean. If this continues, we will have around 12 billion metric tons of plastic that simply sit in landfills.
India, the 12th worst plastic offenders in 2010, have banned plastics in its 17 states and Union territories. A person or shopkeeper scoff off the rule, s/he is liable to five years of imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh penalty. If a person is found frequently going against the law there’s a fine of Rs 5,000 per day for him/her.
Additionally, state government is also planning to install cloth bags vending machines to dispense cloth bags as alternative for plastic carry bags. They’re going to be installed at public places like vegetable markets, malls and shopping complexes.
The ban has a purpose for the greater good, but unfortunately it led to a consumer inconvenience. People found it hard to get an inexpensive alternative that could carry the functions of plastic. The solution to this inconvenience is biodegradable bags.
An Indian government official of environment department said, “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.”
Biodegradable bags are seemingly the best available option Because if animals swallowed them, they would be harmless to the animals. These bags’ ingredients are natural-based starch (like maize, for example). They are likely to replace regular plastic bags.
Encouraged to provide a solution to the plastic bags, a young businessman and investor from Bangalore, Mohammed Sadiq, launched a company called BioGreen. A company that offers eco-friendly yet inexpensive alternative that is as equally convenient and sturdy as plastic bags.
“The Karnataka Government imposed a complete ban on all plastic and plastic products in the state on March 11, 2016, without actually giving the people alternatives so that they can carry various essentials without any hassle,” said the 29-year-old.
“When I went to purchase groceries, the paper bag carrying the milk packet began to disintegrate as soon as it came in contact with the moisture from the packet. I looked for alternatives myself, and when I was unable to find an inexpensive one, BioGreen was born!”
BioGreen bags are made from natural starch, vegetable oil derivatives, and vegetable waste. Those raw materials are then collected and turned into pellets which are then processed into thin films so they can be moulded into bags.
And just like conventional plastic bags, you can use these bags in your daily life. More importantly, you can help save your surrounding environment. BioGreen manufactures carry bags and grocery bags for Retail Stores, Mall, catering industry special bags and rolls, covers, thin films, packing rolls, and many more products. If you want, you can customize the colors, prints and sizes as well.
Sadiq said, “The products are non-toxic to the environment, animals, and plants. Our carry bags contain no conventional plastics.” The company aims to replace all disposable plastics in the world with high quality, innovative products that lower human carbon footprint and dependence on oil.
It seems that BioGreen’s concerns and sustainable efforts echo to other parts of the world which are planning for the greater good. As a result, the company finds clients in Botswana, Kenya, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Italy, Denmark, USA, Canada, and many more. The products are set to launch in India on 30th January 2018.
Let’s be hopeful that these bags will begin their mass production. Let’s also be hopeful that other businessmen could also produce the same type of bags so we can put an end to plastic bags forever and eventually live a plastic-free life.
But it doesn’t mean that we only wait for it to happen. In the meantime, we can also get ourselves some alternatives or substitutes to reduce plastic consumption.
1. Produce bags
When you’re out shopping for some veggies and fruit at the market unprepared, you can’t help but use plastic bags. What you can do is prepare yourself with some produce bags before going out to the market and do your business.
Now, don’t get the disposable ones. You can buy the washable, reusable, and sustainably made ones (online shop is your best friend here). Or, you can just make them your own using mesh, organic cloth, or your own old t-shirt like here.
Before the mass production of plastics, people use glass for containers. If we look around our kitchen now, we’ll see plastic water bottles, soda bottles, food storage containers. Plastics everywhere, because they’re easier and cheaper to make.
Contrary to plastics, glass is not derived from fossil fuels. It’s made of sand. So, it’s a renewable source and it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that can get to your body. Also, glass is also easily recyclable. You simply need to be more careful. But hey, we gotta make some effort for Earth, right?
3. Lunch box
Many people still pack their sandwiches in zip plastic bag. Some pack them in paper bags, but it doesn’t really help the environment too. In some countries, people wrap their food in paper and then put it inside a plastic bag. Combo damage.
What you can do is pack your sandwich and your lunches in a simple lunch box. Food-grade plastic, stainless, or combination lunch box, it’s up to you. The main thing is to not use plastics to pack your lunch. Plus, if you can get thermal lunch boxes, your food will still be warm and nice too.
4. Grocery bags
Grocery stores are the place where we can get and find an awful lot of plastic bags. The simple solution is, bring your own reusable grocery bag and don’t ask for bags if you’re buying items that you can stuff in your bag.
If you’re shopping for quite a bulk, the you can use reusable bags that you can attach to your shopping cart. Those things are strong enough to carry all your stuff safely to your house. And, you’re not adding more plastic waste to the already-full landfills.