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As corpn mulls bio bags, traders sceptic

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A week after Coimbatore corporation launched starch-based bio bags which are compostable and free of plastics, Trichy corporation has initiated steps to adopt the concept. This could go a long way in eliminating the menace of toxic pollution by plastics and tackle the problem of clogged drains and sewers.
The bio bags being used across the country are not plastic-free. But the bags planned to be introduced in the city are completely starch-based and toxic-free. The bag burns like paper and turns into ash unlike plastic. Also, it dissolves in hot water immediately. In cold water, it will dissolve after some time and it is safe enough to be consumed, says the manufacturer.
While Coimbatore has welcomed the transition, traders in Trichy are sceptical. They say the concept has not been received well the world over and claim that bio bags are unfit to be used for packing food items. The bags would pose a fresh obstacle for the civic body in its endeavour to separate garbage at source as bio bags turn non-biodegradable if mixed with plastics, they say.
Plastic manufacturers, whose business would take a hit if bio bags take over, are a worried lot. "Bio bags are made of a particular type of starch that is extracted from plants. However, chemical fertilizers used to raise the plants remain as sediment in the starch. This would mix with the food item that is wrapped with bio bags," claims president of the Trichy Pudukkottai plastics manufacturers and traders association T Muthumanickam.
He said plastic as such was not the villain but the way it was used and disposed in India was. According to him, countries with a much higher per capita plastic usage than India were not demanding a ban. India had been clamouring for a ban because the citizens were not using and disposing plastics properly.
"We are not against the concept of bio bags," said the past president of Trichy plastic manufacturers association N Renganathan. He said research and development on the starch-based raw material were yet to be completed. Besides, the production cost was five times that of plastics.
Trichy corporation commissioner N Ravichandran said discussions would be held at various levels to see the feasibility of introducing the bio bags and ensure that they are safe for use

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/as-corpn-mulls-bio-bags-traders-sceptic/articleshow/61650612.cms

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