KERALA

Eco-friendly alternative to plastic carry-bags

ECO-FRIENDLY: Paperbags.

ECO-FRIENDLY: Paperbags.  

The more bags they make, the more money they

would earn.

An eco-friendly alternative to the plastic carry bags is always welcome. The Eco Green Unit, a women empowerment programme of the United Nations Development Programme, based in Aluva provides an alternative made out of the fibrous waste of the pseudo stem of the banana tree.

The Project Office of the Eco Green Unit helps individual woman who are ready to take up a project of making paper carry bags by using the paper and the machine that they provide. The woman, with whom the Unit signs a contract, can engage other women to build a team

A group of four women can work on the machine at a time and make as many carry bags as they can. The more bags they make, the more money they would earn, said V.P. Narayanan, project officer of Eco Green. A one-day training session is arranged for the women who like to take up the work. The Unit’s target is to train about 15 lakh women a year.

The cost of the machine is Rs.20,000, which can be secured as loan from the District Industries Centre, which would also give a subsidy of 15 per cent for the loan under the Women Industries Programme. The organisation provides a product buy-back guarantee for five years, after which it can be renewed, Mr. Narayanan said.

There are about 75 machines in the State, including 16 in Ernakulam. “We need at least 5,000 pieces of carry bags at a time. This would also make the women earn well,” said Mr. Narayanan. There are four different sizes of bags and each with varying prices. A minimum of 0.50-75 paise can be earned on a small bags or Rs.3 to Rs.5 on bigger bags, Mr. Narayanan said.

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, he said that the product is much in demand in the domestic market. Eco Unit, based in Pollachi, sells carry bags in many cities across the country, he said. The unit in Pondicherry exports the banana stem fibre paper to a number of countries.

More details can be obtained from the website >www.ecogreenunit.org and Mr. Narayanan can be contacted at 9895106161.

Shyama Rajagopal

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