New Delhi: Every year, the world consumes 5 trillion plastic bags. If stacked up all the plastic bags consumed would cover an area twice the size of France, according to UN Environment’s latest report ‘Single-use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability’. Moreover, less than one per cent of plastic bags get recycled. As a result, plastic bags today are among the 12 most often found items of debris, in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit organisation Center for Marine Conservation. The consumption of plastic bags is estimated to take lives of 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals every year.
This Independence Day, make a difference and help free India from the scrouge of plastic bags. Here are 5 organisations that can help you switch from plastic bags to eco-friendly options:
1. Plastic Bags Turned Into Beautiful Handcrafted Products By Aarohana EcoSocial Developments
Two IT professionals turned waste warriors – Amita Deshpande and Nandan Bhat from Pune found a simple technique to fight the growing plastic menace in India. They decided to upcycle the culprit – plastic bags and turn them into fashionable bags so that everyone can use these sturdy bags for their daily needs.
As a first step, the plastic bags are washed and dried properly and are then shredded into small strips. Next, these strips are then woven together into a cloth or fabric using handlooms and charkhas and once the cloth/fabric is ready, the company makes beautifully handcrafted products from it.
Today, Aarohana EcoSocial Developments has efficiently upcycled more than 200,000 typical small grocery plastic bags and is selling their products in various markets of India. The products are also available on their official website and the price of the products range between Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
2. Veggie To Fridgie Bag By Astu Eco
A venture founded by two Bangaloreans – Anitha Shankar and Tejshree Madhu aims to provide everyone with a green alternative to plastic bags which on an average are used for mere 12 minutes. The duo made ‘Veggie to Fridgie’ shopping bag in three different styles and materials with one concept – give an individual an easy option to keep vegetables well organised. Therefore the ‘Veggie to Fridgie’ shopping bags come in different pouches. Three kinds of ‘Veggie to Fridgie’ shopping bags that are available with Astu Eco are:
• Copper Beech – A cotton bag that comes with six inbuilt partitions which are non-detachable
• Golden Palm – A canvas bag that comes with five attachable cloth bags and three loose cloth bags (2 small, 1 large). This bag can be used both individually and collectively
• Silver Fir – A cotton bag that comes with five attachable cloth bags and three loose cloth bags (2 small, 1 large)
The green alternatives are available for the purchase on Astu Eco’s official site and other online retail stores. The cost price of these bags ranges in between Rs 200 and Rs 499.
3. GreenBUG, Started By A Bengaluru Couple To Provide Eco-friendly Bin Bags Made From Newspaper And Maida
Three years ago, 44-year-old Arun Balachandran and his wife Jyoti Pahadsingh decided to ditch plastic bin bags which they used daily and opt for a green alternative. On research, they found out, in the market, there is no green alternative available. So, the husband-wife duo decided to make one eco-friendly alternative on their own. The couple decided to use multiple layers of biodegradable materials like old newspapers to ensure that the paper doesn’t tear easily or get soggy due to liquid waste being dumped into it. Moreover, instead of using fevicol, maida is applied on the base and on the sides so that when a user lifts the bag it doesn’t tear.
The bins bags are available for standard size bins – the bags are about 13″ tall, has an opening of over 90 cm and can expand to a volume of about 10 litres and can hold over 2 kilo of the dry load.
Currently, their product is available on their official online site for purchase at a cost price of Rs 5.
4. EnviGreen’s Eco-Friendly Bags Made Out Of Natural Starches And Vegetable Wastes
EnviGreen, a Mangalore-based company started by the waste warrior Ashwath Hegde is making look-alikes of plastic bags which on disposal can become food for the animals. The bags are made using all sorts of natural starches that are easily available in the market, for example, banana and potato peels and can decompose within 180 days.
Currently, the bags are available for the purchase across India, one just needs to contact the seller through the official site.
5. Rimagined, Making Bags Using Tetra-Packs & Torn Jeans
Starting at a cost price of Rs 150, Rimagined from Bengaluru, has been started by a resident Shailaja Rangarajan in 2016, aims at providing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags in the form of green bags which have been made using tetra packs and other waste items. The products are available online on their official site.
People living in Bengaluru can also reach Rimagined directly if they wish to contribute old denim, fabric waste, e-waste and any segregated solid waste and want to get these converted into some sort of bags.
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.