New Delhi: According to the United Nations, half of the plastic used in the world is of single-use such as grocery bags, cutlery and straws. It further states, 500 billion plastic bags are used every year around the world and more than half a million plastic straws are used every day. India is producing a whopping 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste in a year and experts say 50% of this waste is of single-use plastic. Thanks to the widespread encroachment of plastic in our lives, today most of the water bodies are in plastic, as the recent high tide revealed in Mumbai, where the receding water of the ocean left behind a shocking image, which went viral on social. While oceans are one end of the problem, plastic choked rivers are the end of the problem, as highlighted by yet another viral video of a Himalayan River.
The crisis of this scale cannot be mitigated without collective community efforts. It is high time for the question to be asked – What can we do? And get down to actually doing it. The first step is to completely give up single-use plastic such as disposable glasses, plates, cups, bags and straws, and adopt eco-friendly alternatives.
Here are some organisations that offer the biodegradable and sustainable solution to single-use plastic in India:
1. EcoWare That Is Changing The Way India Eats
Started by Delhi based entrepreneur Rhea Singhal, EcoWare provides eco-friendly alternatives to plastic – plates, bowls, cups, trays, boxes. There are more than 20 different products of Ecoware that are today available in the market. The products are 100% natural, biodegradable and are made from agriculture waste. What’s more, the products decompose in soil within 90 days, unlike plastic that can take anywhere between 100 and 1000 years to degrade.
Price Range of EcoWare Products: Rs 1 to Rs 25
Where To Buy EcoWare Products: Products are available on their official site, e-retail stores for users across India. For Delhites and Mumbaikars, the products are also available in 24×7 or in and out stores.
2. Astu Eco, Providing Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Plastic Made From Areca, Bagasse And Paper
Astu Eco is a venture founded by two Bangaloreans – Anitha Shankar and Tejshree Madhu. They provide a complete range of tableware and cutlery, made of areca leaves and in addition also provide customers with eco-friendly paper straws. The products are not only 100 per cent biodegradable but are also microwave and refrigerator safe.
Price Range Of Astu Eco Products: Rs. 3 to Rs. 20,
Where To Buy Astu Eco Products: The products are available for purchase on the official online store and many leading e-retail stores.
3. Visfortec Private Limited Providing Green Cutlery Made From Sugarcane
In 2011, at a mere age of 25, Samanvi Bhograj, from Bengaluru decided to fight plastic menace by making compostable cutlery from sugarcane bagasse – the fibre obtained from sugarcane after extracting juice. The cutlery that ranges from food containers, plates, bowls, meal trays and cups, come in all the possible shapes and size and is 100% biodegradable and once discarded can decompose within 80-90 days’ time span.
Price Range Of Visforec Products: The cups and bowls are for 95 paise and above, plates range from Rs. 2-Rs. 7 each. Whereas, meal boxes cost around Rs. 14 and the containers vary from Rs. 8 to Rs. 18
Where To Buy Visforec Products: The products are available online and are also directly sold across India to restaurants, cafes, corporates
4. CHUK’S Eco-Friendly Solution To India – Tableware Made From Sugarcane Waste
Alarmed by the growing plastic waste, Uttar Pradesh-based Ved Krishna came up with a solution to single-use plastic cutlery in the form of edible cutlery. Through his tableware range CHUK, Ved Krishna today is providing green alternatives to plastic plates, bowls, containers and lids.
The cutlery is made out of sugarcane waste and can decompose itself into manure within a few months’ time after disposal. The tableware comes in natural brown colour, which is the original colour of sugarcane pulp to retain these products from harmful chemicals.
Price Range Of CHUCK Products: The cost of products ranges from anything between Rs 1 to Rs 7
Where To Buy CHUCK Products: The products are available online on their official site
5. Trishula Has A Solution For Single-Use Plastic Spoons – Edible Spoons, One Which You Can Eat After Eating From It
24-year-old engineer turned entrepreneur Kruvil Patel from Vadodara, Gujarat is helping India beat plastic pollution with edible spoons, one which you can eat after eating from it.
The edible spoons that are a blend of different flours, Indian natural spices, flavours and binding ingredients are 100 per cent natural and come with no added preservatives or artificial flavours. The product comes in 8 different flavours – beetroot, spinach, chocolate, masala, black pepper, mint, ajwain, and plain.
Price Range Of Trishula Products: The products are priced in the range of Rs. 3 to Rs. 6
Where To Buy Trishula Products: The edible spoons are available for purchase on their official site across India
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.