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Indian innovator finds novel solution to plastic bags

Young Sibi Chelvan from Coimbatore finished his graduation in the USA and worked there for a few years. When he wanted to quit his high paying job and start some business of his own, his target was not money, he wanted to protect the environment and give back to his own society.

The organization Regeno was born a few months back to make biodegradable plastic bags from vegetable starch. These bags will not be hazardous to the environment like the plastic bags. Regeno bags are prepared from the wastes of maize, vegetables and paper. These bags will degrade in three months’ time. They burn like paper and turn into ash. They can also be melted in hot water. Even if animals consumed them, there will be no harm to them.

Plastics are a problem the world over and much so in India. Let’s look at some statistics concerning plastic in India:
• In India, the total generation of plastic waste is estimated to be approximately 5.6 million tonnes per annum. Plastic waste constitutes on average 9-10% of the local waste collected daily.
• Over 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste gets generated in major cities of India every single day. Of this, 6,000 tonnes stay uncollected as well as littered. Cities such as Bangalore alone generate 10,50,000 kg of plastic garbage in a day. India’s contribution to plastic waste that is dumped into the Indian Ocean every year is a massive 60 percent.
• Packaging represents the single-largest sector of plastic use and accounts for 35 percent of plastic consumption. Even paper cups consist of a layer of plastic inside them to withstand temperature and for rigidity.
• This not only creates a litter problem but also leads to spread of multiple diseases. In India, it is a common phenomenon to see sewers and drainage systems clogged by used plastic bags, which cause severe cases of malaria as well as dengue due to the increased population of mosquitoes which breed on the flooded sewers.

Eco-friendly biodegradable bags from Regeno can save the environment

Sibi says Regeno bags could replace plastics in multiple places such as shopping bags, garment bags, carry bags, laundry bags, garbage bags, aprons, films/sheets, pet waste bags, wrapping covers, seat covers and so on. Regeno also produces biodegradable tableware. They can be customized according to the required shapes and sizes.

Regeno products are eco-friendly, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.

Plastics are a major environment hazard globally
• World’s water is in great danger because of leaking plastics and waste. This has created terrible consequences on many marine species which can greatly impact those that eat fish.

Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body— Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83 percent of samples found to be polluted.

• When plastic is dumped in landfills, it interacts with water and form hazardous chemicals. Burning of plastic in the open air leads to environmental pollution due to release of poisonous chemicals.

• Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potentially adverse health effects in humans.

• According to estimates, on average, about 30 kg of plastic is found in the guts of cows in the country and 20 cows die every day due to ingesting plastic bags and having their digestive system clogged by them. About one million sea birds as well as 100,000 marine mammals get killed every year due to plastic floating in the oceans around the world. Plastic pollution is a global emergency that is parallel to climate change. By the year 2050, it is predicted that oceans would contain more plastic than fish.

Let us join hands and eradicate the killer plastic from our lives. Let’s live plastic free.

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Charukesi Rajakumar

About Charukesi Rajakumar

Author at greenubuntu.com. Apart from being an environmentalist and passionate nature lover, Charukeshi Rajkumar has more than 35 years of software industry experience, with more than 20 years focused on Business and Functional Analysis, including team lead roles. She can be reached at charu@xtra.co.nz