Coimbatore

Smart City Limited suggests use of bio compostible bags

The bio compostible plastic bags introduced in the city by the Coimbatore Corporation’s Smart City initiative.

The bio compostible plastic bags introduced in the city by the Coimbatore Corporation’s Smart City initiative.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Coimbatore industries plan to manufacture them

Coimbatore Smart City Limited, as part of its initiative to promote alternative packaging materials for plastic carry bags, has suggested the use of bio compostible bags to the merchant community in the city.

Special Officer and Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan chaired a meeting on bio plastics as part of the smart city initiatives. It was attended by hoteliers, eatery owners and caterers and representatives of various associations including Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC).

R. Raveendran of RAAC, who took part in the discussion, said that at present some merchants sourced these bio compostible plastic bags from Pune, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

As the sourcing took time and also involved transportation costs, the purchase of the bags was yet to spread as intended in the city. Now, the Indian Plastic Institute - Coimbatore Chapter was trying to popularise the bio compostible bags among the packaging material manufacturers.

A firm had come forward to provide the raw materials for bio compostible plastic bags and the existing plastic bag manufacturing machinery in Coimbatore and nearby areas could be used for manufacturing the bio compostable plastic bags.

To distinguish or differentiate a plastic bag and bio compostible plastic bags, the Coimbatore Smart City logo would be printed on the bio compostible bag on one side, while the other side would be for the name, logo and details of the firm that provided it to customers.

The advantage with bio compostible bags was that there was a relaxation in rule, wherein even bags with less than 20 microns could be used whereas in normal plastics, use of plastic bags with less than 50 microns was an offence.

With regard to bio compostible plastic bags, the cost was not a major issue as some variants of the bags cost lesser than the packaging materials currently in use and in some variants the cost was up by 20 to 25 %. With raw materials being made locally available and use of existing machinery for manufacturing, even that cost would likely to come down.

According to D. Sreenivasan, president of Coimbatore District Hoteliers’ Association, about 400 hotels in the city use approximately 300 bags each every day. Though some introduced paper carry bags for take away orders, these are expensive.

Currently, a couple of hotels are using the bags sourced from Pune.

However, once the industries here start producing the bag, all the hotels in the city will switch over to it. These are cost effective and environment friendly too.

Mr. Sreenivasan added that the public should, however, look at carrying their own bags for parcels.

They should bring containers and bags so that use of packing materials was reduced.

The meeting also exhorted the caterers to shun the use of cups made of thermocol and plastic for serving sweets and ice creams. As an alternative, the meeting also showcased cups, fork and spoons made of bagasse, a fibrous material made of waste generated after crushing sugarcane.

The caterers have agreed to use these cups and spoons avoiding plastics.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:35:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/smart-city-limited-suggests-use-of-bio-compostible-bags/article19894174.ece

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