Kerala

Bamboo offers an alternative to plastics

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Bamboo Corporation hopes to cash in on plastic ban with various products

Bamboo’s versatility as a raw material will be to the fore as it can be an effective alternative to single-use plastics, which have been banned in the State from January 1. Bamboo products can replace plastic products ranging from file-holders to straws, feels Kerala State Bamboo Corporation, a public sector undertaking, that encourages traditional bamboo artisans, mostly belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

Bamboo corporation managing director A.M. Abdul Rasheed said the corporation wanted to launch itself into the midst of the drive to replace plastic products.

For a beginning, the corporation has proposed replacing plastic stationery in all government offices and, later, in the offices of public sector companies, with bamboo products.

The corporation has tied up with the Haritha Keralam Mission and Suchitwa Mission to replace plastic stationery with bamboo products.

The mission is based on the belief that whatever can be made of plastic can be produced from bamboo — bamboo baskets, file racks, covers, holders, pen and pencil stands, pens, and file boxes.

Mr. Rasheed said that the corporation would ensure the quality of the products by providing designs to traditional artisans, who were now engaged by the corporation.

The corporation would procure these products and supply to end users.

Bamboo has tremendous scope as Kerala tries to get rid of one-use plastic products in different sectors. The entire country was a big market for bamboo products, the bamboo corporation official pointed out.

Subsidy

The corporation has been catering to traditional artisans by providing substantial subsidy on bamboo reeds harvested from Kerala forests.

Bamboo products of late faced adverse market conditions with products like ply attracting 18% GST whereas it was exempted from tax previously.

Efforts were being made to persuade the government to do away with GST, said the corporation official.

₹25 crore projects

Meanwhile, the bamboo corporation has been sanctioned projects worth over ₹25 crore by the National Bamboo Mission through the Kerala State Bamboo Mission. These projects include modernisation, corrugated sheet-making, establishment of godowns, planting bamboo, establishment of bamboo weaving centres and so on.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:10:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bamboo-offers-an-alternative-to-plastics/article30488020.ece

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