DRDO launched eco-friendly biodegradable packaging products that are made from plant-based and natural food-grade materials. These bags are the most sustainable, cost-effective, and ocean-safe alternative to single-use plastics

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Acharya Ngarjuna University and Ecolastic Private Limited launched eco-friendly packaging products that are made from plant-based and natural food-grade materials. The bags, which are available in two forms: soluble and insoluble, can biodegrade in three months and do not cause any harm to the environment.

“These biodegradable packaging products are safer than the traditional polyethylene bags made of petrochemicals, which are highly unsafe to the environment and takes years to degrade. These bags are the most sustainable, cost-effective, and ocean-safe alternative to single-use plastics,” DRDO and Ecolastic Private Limited said.

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(L-R) Ram Manohar Babu Director of Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), DRDO. Purushottam, Technical Director, Ecolastic Pvt Ltd. Photo by ANI

Speaking to ANI, the Director of Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), DRDO, Ram Manohar Babu said that he feels immensely proud at launching the Ecolastic packaging product.

“Government of India has decided to completely eliminate the usage of single-use plastic in the country by 2022 and these biodegradable packing bags help us make a forward step in that direction,” he said.

He added that eco-friendly packaging products like these are essential for the survival of mankind and DRDO  has played a vital role in bringing it out.

Further, he mentioned that Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has approved the distribution of these products, and stated that they have to campaign for further distribution of such products.

Addressing the media, Chief Scientist Dr Veera Bhrammam said that they have launched this product after reaching the perfect formulation through rigorous testing.

“We have taken care of strength and biodegradability factors and have achieved the most sustainable alternative to plastic. Not a single animal will be harmed with this product,” he said.

Technical Director, Ecolastic Private Limited, Purushottam while speaking to ANI said, “We can’t remove plastic completely from our life but we can find alternative solutions. The biodegradable packaging bags launched today are the most sustainable alternative to singleuse plastic.”

He added that they are ready to provide material to industries that will come forward to produce the product and would further help circulate the eco-friendly packaging product.

India Proposes to Eliminate Single-use Plastic

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change published a Draft Notification Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 on March 12, 2021. It announced that a ban on single-use plastic would be implemented in three phases. The first, to be implemented by September 30, 2021, is that non-woven plastic bags made of virgin or recycled plastic must weigh at least 60 grams per square meters (GSM), or be at most 240 microns thick. Plastic bags that can be composted would be exempted.

In the second pahse it proposes to ban the production, import, stocking and distribution of certain single-use plastic commodities starting January 1, 2022. This includes candy sticks and ice cream sticks. Earbuds with plastic sticks, balloon sticks, polystyrene decorations, and plastic sticks for balloons are just a few of the single-use plastic commodities that will be outlawed after this date.

In the third phase, India will ban the import, stocking and distribution of single-use plastic products (including expanded polystyrene) starting July 1, 2022. Single-use plastic commodities would be banned after July 1, 2022. They include plates, cups and glasses, cutlery as well as straws, trays, stirrers, plates, cups, straws, cutlery, straws and trays. Wrapping films around sweet boxes will also be banned. Wrapping/packing films for invitation cards, cigarette packets, and plastic/PVC banners with less than 100 microns thickness are examples of non-food contact items.

Source: ANI News