Biodegradable bags, made of starch from maize, are likely to replace regular polyethene bags in Rajasthan.
After imposing an effective ban on usage of plastic bags, the government has been looking for a substitute. According to officials, biodegradable bags look to be the best available option which if swallowed, would not harm animals, too.
An official from environment department, said, “We are looking into alternatives that would be eco-friendly and easy on the pocket of consumers. Among few options, biodegradable bags fit best into our requirements.”
The bag that the government is planning to introduce will be made from natural starch-based products including maize. Several field tests have found that they are sturdy and a single average size carry bag may cost Rs 0.50 to Rs 1 more than the plastic bag.
According to officials, these bags already are in use in some part of the country including Madhya Pradesh where plastic bags to have been banned recently.
The official added, “There are producers who can supply biodegradable bags to us though none of them are based in Rajasthan. We expect once it will get in use, new players will enter in the market and eventually bring down the cost too.”
The bags have been certified by third-party testing agencies both in India and abroad. These bags have also been certified by Central Government’s Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET).
Recently, JMC had once again initiated a massive drive to discourage use of plastic bags. An official informed, the government had imposed a ban on the sale, and manufacture & transportation of polythene carry bags on August 1, 2010.