As all are aware by now, plastic bags / items made with plastic are not renewable. That means the items made with plastic cannot be easily recycled like biodegradable products. They are made of petrochemicals, which is what makes them non-renewable and a risk to the health of the planet. They last for hundreds of years, all the while doing damage to natural habitats and killing animals that mistake them for food. The more plastic bags people use, the greater the chances of environmental damage. If they are not carefully disposed of, plastic bags can be devastating to animal life and damaging to the planet. As plastic bags do not decay quickly, they stay in environments longer, causing more build-up on the natural landscape than a more degradable material like biodegradable products would. Infants and young children have died as a result of playing with plastic bags. Because of the thin, airtight material, infants can easily block their mouths and nostrils with the plastic bag and suffocate.
The situation has been further worsened by the increase in usage of single use plastics. From water bottles, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers to any sort of packaging, these are everywhere. What’s even more alarming is that, of the 9.2 billion tons of plastics, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste, of which 6.3 billion tons never make it to a recycling bin.
However, it is tough to make sudden changes and while all of us understand the issues that plastic brings, yet to cut it completely from our lives would be tough.
So what should be done?
Biodegradable products are the only way. These biodegradable products are made from tapioca and vegetable. These biodegradable products naturally decompose in 3-6 months. Biodegradable bags will cost less than cloth bags, little bit priced over plastic bags. The use of biodegradable products can avoid toxic plastic waste in our country and we can save the planet. Animals, especially, cows are among the worst-affected animals. Bags from our company Asian Biogreen are made of tapioca fibre and vegetable waste and are 100% organic, edible and recyclable and environment friendly. The tapioca fibre, vegetable waste and oils would be bought directly from farmers which would be highly profitable and a good source of alternative income for them. Biodegradable products are those that can be completely degraded in landfills, composters or sewage treatment plants by the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms. Truly biodegradable products leave no toxic, visible or distinguishable residues following degradation. Their biodegradability contrasts sharply with most petroleum-based plastics, which are essentially indestructible in a biological context. Because of the ubiquitous use of petroleum-based plastics, their persistence in the environment and their fossil-fuel derivation, alternatives to these traditional plastics are being explored. Issues surrounding waste management of traditional and biodegradable polymers are discussed in the context of reducing environmental pressures and carbon footprints. The main thrust of the present review addresses the development of plant-based biodegradable polymers. Plants naturally produce numerous polymers, including rubber, starch, cellulose and storage proteins, all of which have been exploited for biodegradable plastic production. Bacterial bioreactors fed with renewable resources from plants--so-called 'white biotechnology'--have also been successful in producing biodegradable polymers. In addition to these methods of exploiting plant materials for biodegradable polymer production, the present review also addresses the advances in synthesizing novel polymers within transgenic plants, especially those in the polyhydroxyalkanoate class. Although there is a stigma associated with transgenic plants, especially food crops, plant-based biodegradable polymers, produced as value-added co-products, or, from marginal land (non-food), crops such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), have the potential to become viable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and an environmentally benign and carbon-neutral source of polymers.
Biodegradable products are known to not produce any net increase in carbon dioxide during their breakdown process since the plants which are the primary ingredients had already absorbed enough carbon dioxide to begin with. The production of Bio-plastics gave rise to the concept of biodegradable products. The largest segment by application of biodegradable products actually in packaging, both in terms of value as well as volume, with a market share of close to 75%.
One might point out that the sector of biodegradable products is small and is at a relatively nascent stage when compared to overall packaging industry of the globe. But, one can hope that the increasing consumer awareness would intensify the growth of biodegradable packaging market. Besides this, rising emphasis on sustainable packaging by retail conglomerates is expected to bolster the growth of global biodegradable packaging market.
In addition to these, we always have an option to follow- Remove and Reduce. Many have joined hands in exploring ways so that they can cut back on energy consumption, use alternative energy, reduce waste and use recycling procedures in their operations.
And while it’s still a brave new world for business, these biodegradable products and biodegradable packaging measures can easily be implemented with immediate effect, and that too cost effectively.
Finally, We should try to avoid packaging wherever we can. The Governments have become sincere in their efforts and so have the common people and from the way things are progressing, it is only a matter of time that biodegradable plastics will become a common place item.
We, at Asiabio Biogreen Industries, committed to contribute largely in building pollution free society for which we came forward to setup production units in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala and subsequently promise to spread across PAN INDIA with the support of State and Central Governments.