More than 15,000 tons of plastic waste is generated in India every day, of which 6000 tons remain uncollected and littered”. Collected or littered, each plastic takes roughly 500–1000 years to degrade! Reports say, there is enough plastic to drown the entire human race. Plastic pollution may not be visible to us but research shows microscopic plastic particles exist in the air throughout the world and in oceans. Plastic is present in terrestrial, aquatic, and airborne environments.
The ban on plastic bags has led to inconvenience for many due to unavailability of alternative materials. It is time to switch to bags made from biodegradable material and which retain the qualities of a conventional plastic bag. Many innovative entrepreneurs have come up with solutions and GreenBugs established by Jyoti Pahadsingh and Arun Balachandran is one of them. They wanted to change the habit of plastic use through convenient and sustainable alternatives. They came up with the idea of using something easily available, convenient, and eco-friendly. That’s when they came up with the idea of the ecofriendly bags and the “newspaper dustbin liner”.
“We come across various types of plastic bags with messages like ‘this is not plastic bag,’ and we believe: ‘It must be good,’ patting ourselves that we aren’t using plastics. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. We have to understand whether it’s biodegradable and compostable. Under what conditions, controlled or natural. I learnt the most after starting greenBUG. There still isn’t enough awareness to segregate kinds of plastics. I mean nonwoven polypropylene bags which are circulated as cloth bags!! Disintegrated particles of biodegradable plastic bags cause more harm than regular plastic since it gets mixed with air and water and is not visible to us”, says, Jyoti Pahadsingh, founder, greenBUG.
Use greenBUG bags for women empowerment
greenBUG bags are eco-friendly, convenient as well as flexible garbage bin liners. They are made up of recycled newspapers along with natural glue. The greenBUG bags are compliant with waste segregation rules. The greenBUG bag is made by stay-at-home disadvantaged women, many of them have very few opportunities to earn a living. So, when you use the bags, you produce a smaller carbon footprint and you also help green up the struggling lives of less fortunate folks help in women empowerment.
“Whereas it may sound easy, we had many trials and unproductive days in order to get the design right. A design which could fit the dustbin types, was quick to make yet firm to hold wet waste, and doesn’t use adhesives or tapes, using anything not environment-friendly defeats the whole purpose”,says, Arun.
The Bangalore-based organization gathers old newspapers from the various housing societies in the vicinity, gets them to centers where women workers make them into something useful. A few hand tools designed by Arun and Jyoti help the women in pressing newspapers and giving them the right folds, ensuring increasing productivity and reduction of errors. The materials used to collect the newspapers are ecofriendly. They don’t use adhesives, rather a paste formed from flour (maida) and water to stick corners. The production process is quite environment friendly and green.