Ludhiana | With ban on single-use plastic, eco-friendly products are here to stay
The raw material for eco-friendly products is not available in India, therefore, it is imported from the Netherlands, which adds to their cost along with the 18 per cent GST. The cost of these products is 150 per cent higher which gives a cost advantage to the single-use plastic products, an industrialist from Ludhiana said
Following a complete ban on single-use plastic from July 1, various alternative products are arousing interest among people. The carry bags, disposable glasses, straws and cutlery items made from corn starch are proving to be an eco-friendly replacement for plastic.
The companies which have entered into this innovative business of sustainable alternatives to plastic material showcased their products on Friday at a district-level event, held to create awareness against single-use plastic, at Government College for Girls.
Hardeep Singh from Windsor Industries said, “These substitutes of plastic products automatically decompose in soil and water within 180 days.” He said the only ingredient used in these products is corn starch, which has no harmful effect on environment.
“People are very surprised to see these products as one can hardly tell if these are made of biodegradable material,” he added.
Eco-friendly but expensive
He said since the raw material is not available in India, it is imported from the Netherlands, which adds to their cost along with the 18 per cent GST.
The cost of these products is 150 per cent higher which gives a cost advantage to the plastic products.
Shrikant, marketing manager of a Ludhiana-based company, Dr Bio, said, “ We even have straws made of corn starch, along with containers and carry bags. Because plastic products are still available in the market, the demand of these products is much less.”
He said the government could provide tax rebates and subsidies to support such industries.
“Today, the biodegradable industry has only one or two per cent share in the market, the main reason being the lack of awareness,” he added.
Recycles Villa’s owner, a Ludhiana-based company, Mohammed Ahad said, “Our company makes pens and pencils from recycled cardboard and newspapers that also constitute flower and vegetable seeds, which can be grown by putting them in a pot after use.”
He said, “We also make notebooks and envelopes using cotton waste which also have seeds in them and can be planted after usage.”
Dist adm urges resident to shun single-use plastic, launch awareness drive
This drive was launched in the presence of MLAs Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina, Daljit Singh Grewal, Jiwan Singh Sangowal, Kulwant Singh Sidhu, Ashok Parashar Pappi, Hakam Singh Thekedar and deputy commissioner (DC) Surabhi Malik.
Participating in a district-level function organised at Government College for Girls, Bharat Nagar Chowk, MLAs and deputy commissioner Surabhi Malik said single-use plastic items were used only once and then thrown away.
They said single-use items such as earbuds, candy and ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol for decoration) , PVC banners less than 100 microns thick, stirrers, wrapping films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, plastic flags, cups, glasses, carry bags, straws, and certain kinds of plastic packaging material were banned on July 1. They added that plastic waste had become a significant source of pollution as these items were non-biodegradable.
“Plastic does not decay and remains in the environment for several years. Later, it turns into microplastics, which first enters our food sources and then the human body, which is extremely harmful,” they added.
The officials stressed that all shopkeepers must also charge a price for plastic carry bags and encourage customers to bring cloth or jute bags from home that are environment-friendly and affordable. They also sought fulsome support of people in this noble cause to save the Mother Earth from pollution.
Later, they also visited stalls where alternative items of single use plastic, made from corn starch were displayed.
During the event, students from local schools also presented poems on the issue of single-use plastic.