Eco-friendly polythene bags to be available soonMarch 5th, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, March 5 (IANS) There is good news for people who are protesting the use of polythene bags for their negative effect on the environment. A Chandigarh NGO has tied up with a South Korean scientist who has developed the technology of manufacturing eco-friendly poly-bags from corn to produce them in India.
“We have manufactured corn polymers that are made from chemicals called PLAs (polylactides). These corn polymer products look and feel just like regular plastics and polythene but they are 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable,” Khang Sung, a scientist based in Seoul, told mediapersons here Thursday.
“They are very safe for environment and even if one eats them by mistake, then there would be no harm as it is easily digestible. This polymer can be used for making cups, cutlery, food containers, trash bags and carry bags. We have worked for nearly 10 years to invent this product,” said Sung.
Sung has come here with his team of scientists from South Korea on the invitation of the city-based NGO International Society for Cooperation and Development (ISCD). The ISCD has taken up the responsibility to market this polymer in India and to start its production in the coming months.
Naveen Sharma, president of ISCD said: “PLA is a versatile polymer that is made from corn starch. PLA will compost in approximately 30-45 days depending on varied conditions.”
“At present, more than 5,000 cities in Europe and few Asian and American countries are using similar technology. However, our focus is on minimising the manufacturing cost of the final product,” said Sharma, who is himself a chemical engineer.
He said they would seek government approval in few days and after getting clearance, start their commercial business in next six months. “Initially we will import pellets made of corn starch from South Korea but gradually establish our own manufacturing unit here,” he added.