Pune: In an effort to reduce pollution and save the environment from hazardous products, many citizens are opting for eco-friendly and bio-degradable tableware made from bagasse, the fibre that remains after sugarcane is crushed for juice.
Bagasse tableware products are being made on a small scale in the city and are yet to gain popularity, but nature lovers have given a good response to them. This tableware includes 13 products, namely: 10-inch dinner plates, seven-inch side plates, three bowls of 150 ml, 240 ml and 300 ml, and three and four compartments trays, besides other materials.
Bagasse tableware is manufactured in Satara and has demand in Mumbai, Thane and Konkan. After use, the tableware can be buried underground and decomposes after three or four months.
Sanket Joshi, a distributor of bio-degradable tableware in Pune, said, "Mostly people use thermocol tableware as it is easily available. But they forget that it is unsafe for health and the environment. If hot food is served on thermocol tableware, it disfigures easily. It also increases risk of kidney stone. Bio-degradable tableware on the other hand causes no harm to health and to the environment. Cost of bagasse products varies from Rs 2 to Rs 9 per piece."
Manisha Abhay, a classical choreographer from Kothrud, said, "I had purchased 150 tableware items including 50 bowls during the Ganpati festival. The important feature is that it is easy to handle and does not have a peculiar smell of plastic or thermocol. After use, we buried the tableware in our garden and it is slowly decomposing."
Kalpana Purandare, a housewife from Kothrud, said, "These plates are reliable and non-hazardous to health. Even if hot food is served, the plates do not disfigure. They are costly, but it does not cause any health problems."