Look for a Suitable Alternative
A great opening for bamboo too!
The greatest man-made disaster towards green environment comes from use of plastic, especially the thin film variety. This writer while touring vast areas of Southern India was pleasantly surprised to see the strict enforcement of plastic ban. During my visit to Mahabaleshwar, Aurangabad and Pune last year, I have noticed awareness about illeffects of plastic. It is heartening to note that by and large India has become active in banning plastic totally. It is however deplorable that West Bengal turns a blind eye when it comes to banning and enforcement of the ban on thin film plastic. Must be vested interests working against the interest of common people. Bengal is behind in saving environmental dangers.
The partial ban on plastic bags that several local bodies in the country implemented at various stages has fallen flat so far primarily due to faulty implementation. Secondly, the non-availability of feasible alternatives has been dissuading administrators from opting for a complete ban. Cloth is the next choice, though the nonwoven bags that pass off as cloth bags in most shops these days are equally or even more dangerous than plastic bags.
Plastic bags play a negative role in choking the drainage system. Re-use old polythene bags. Make sure you do not burn polythene bags as they cause a lot of pollution. With so many options, finding the right alternative for plastic carry bags is a tricky matter and only large-scale awareness at the grass root level can ensure that another hazardous material does not substitute plastic.
Though paper is the first option, it cannot be counted as an environment-friendly option considering the large-scale destruction of trees for paper pulp and also because they cannot hold much weight. Though recycled paper bags have become a trend, common people may not find them pocket-friendly. Up-cycled paper bags using newspapers may be used for purposes other than packaging liquid and semiliquid products.
The third option is biodegradable plastic that comes in several varieties. There are starch-based bioplastics that are soluble in hot water. There is also compostable plastic that disintegrates and joins the soil within 90 to 180 days. Plastic bags, thermocol, disposable cups and plates, cutlery, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches and packaging are all banned.
Bamboo is one of the largest members of the grass family and is the fastest growing woody plant on the planet. Its growth rate varies according to the soil and climate, and is best known as a major food source for pandas. Bamboo is also used for culinary and medicinal purposes in many parts of the world, as well as for construction materials, furniture, textiles, musical instruments, bicycles, clothing and more. As a packaging material, bamboo is strong, durable and sustainable. It is one of the most remarkable natural materials available to us. The Economist recently quoted that bamboo is literally, the green equivalent of plastics. This, because it is renewable and low-carbon content. It also said bamboo is now part and parcel of our packaging material.
There are plenty of biodegradable and non-petroleum based plastic alternatives, but many do not provide the lightweight, durability or convenience of plastics. But, there is one product that seems to be on the rise as a sustainable and biodegradable alternative to plastic. Bamboo fibre composites are a result of mixing bamboo fibre into a polymer matrix, resins, or glue, resulting in a lightweight, biodegradable plastic alternative. The new
processes used in the manufacturing of bamboo fibre composite materials recently became more eco-friendly and organic too. The new processing methods are done completely mechanically rather than with harsh chemicals. Bamboo fibre also has several advantages over other natural
BAMBOO FIBRE COMPOSITES ARE A RESULT OF MIXING BAMBOO FIBRE INTO A POLYMER MATRIX, RESINS, OR GLUE, RESULTING IN A LIGHTWEIGHT, BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC ALTERNATIVE. THE NEW PROCESSES USED IN THE MANUFACTURING OF BAMBOO FIBRE COMPOSITE MATERIALS RECENTLY BECAME MORE ECO-FRIENDLY AND ORGANIC TOO.