?Plastic, plastic everywhere, not a land to see'. This may soon become a reality if consumption of plastic is not curtailed and continues to grow. Banning plastic may not be a viable option but making eco-friendly alternatives readily available to the public may help make a dent to the humongous problem of plastic waste. It was this though that drove Ashwath Hegde a Mangalore-based entrepreneur to come with an alternative to plastic that is biodegradable.
Meet the waste warrior, Ashwath Hegde, a 26 year-old, Mangalore-born NRI entrepreneur, who has created plastic look-alike bags that take less than 180 days to biodegrade naturally once discarded.
The idea of helping India fight its plastic waste burden came to 26 year-old, Mangalore-born NRI entrepreneur - Ashwath Hegde back in 2012, when the Mangalore City Corporation banned manufacturing, sale and distribution of plastic bags.
Back then there was no alternative to plastic and people especially, local shopkeepers were not ready to use eco-friendly cloth bags as these were an added cost and affected their profitability.
To combat this problem, Ashwath Hegde decided to work on an alternative and this led to the birth of plastic look-alike bags, made out of natural starches and vegetable wastes under the banner of his company, EnviGreen.
Process: First all raw materials are converted into liquid form and small eco-friendly pellets and then processed in different types of machines to produce various products.
All the material used in producing these bags is natural and organic because the idea was to make something that our planet can digest. Even if these are burnt then only CO2 will be produced and leave behind ashes, instead of hazardous gases byproducts.
If placed in a glass of water, bags will get dissolve in a days' time. The bags are even edible and if ingested, it will cause no harm to animals unlike plastic.
The EnviGreen products have been tested by the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and have been certified as safe products for the environment.
Currently, the products are available only in Mangalore city, but Ashwath aims to scale up his manufacturing facility to produce more bags and products to meet with more demand and reduce India's plastic burden.
We cannot sit and wait for someone else to work and Ashwath Hegde's initiative is a perfect example of Mahatma Gandhi's quote-?Be the change that you wish to see in the world'.