Eco-friendly cornstarch bags now in demand

Neha Basudkar
Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Following the recent ban on plastic bags in Maharashtra, citizens are now looking for eco-friendly options and a popular alternative, which is doing the rounds on social media - mainly through WhatsApp messages - bags made of cornstarch.

 These bags compost within 60 to 180 days

Pune: Following the recent ban on plastic bags in Maharashtra, citizens are now looking for eco-friendly options and a popular alternative, which is doing the rounds on social media - mainly through WhatsApp messages - bags made of cornstarch.

Many environment-conscious Punekars have started using such alternatives to plastic for disposal of domestic solid waste.
Gujarat-based Deepak Sanghvi, Director of True Green, a manufacturing company that claims their cornstarch bags are compostable said there have been many inquiries for his garbage bin liners. “The bags manufactured by our company are not made of plastic though they look like any other polythene bags,” Sanghvi added.

Bangalore-based distributor Gautam Surana, who runs a company called Eco365, said the process of making cornstarch bags is similar to the manufacturing of plastic. “Cornstarch is used for its adhesiveness, waterproofing, different ratios of polymer and plasticiser and can vastly alter with strength, flexibility, stiffness compared to plastic,” he said.

Sanghvi claims these bags will compost within 60 to 180 days after use and it does not generate any toxic element after composting. It uses less water and less energy in production process in comparison with plastic and paper.

Garbage bin liners are being used in Pune and Mumbai, while compostable carry bags are a rage in Bengaluru and Gujarat.

Ganesh Bora, who is into small-scale distribution of compostable garbage bin liners and is a resident of Celestial Society of Ravet, said, “In less than ten days, 300 residents from Baner, Wakad, Pashan, Ravet, Viman Nagar, Aundh, Kharadi, and also some from Mumbai have purchased 10,000 rolls of these bags. A roll contains 30 bags and costs Rs 180.”

Another small-scale distributor and resident from Mumbai, Anu Pillai said demand for cornstarch in Pune is increasing as people are switching over from plastic.

About cornstarch bags
- Deepak Sanghvi, Director of True Green said this bag not only degrades but also gets composted into the soil. The thinner the bag, the faster it can be composted, but the soil should have sufficient level of microorganisms in it.
- The company claims to have been approved after the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) tests were done.

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