Searching for a solution to the plastic waste crisis, a group of 7 college friends from Mokokchung who have now completed their studies ventured out with an aim to contribute to the society and the environment at large.
In their search for an alternative, the group found a company in Tamil Nadu that makes biodegradable products and approached them for collaboration.
Sayangpong Jamir, one of the members of the group said, “Since biodegradable products are famously used in the southern part of India, we approached a company in Tamil Nadu by the name of Rajmo Industries, which makes biodegradable products for a collaboration to distribute their products in Nagaland and the company agreed.”
The group decided to introduce a biodegradable carry bag in the market which according to Jamir is made out of corn kernel. He said that the bags can be decomposed within 5-6 months.
According to Jamir, Mokokchung district is also in the process of implementing the ban on plastic carry bags with a thickness of less than 120 microns. He said that carry bags with a thickness of 120 microns or more will be comparably more costly and it will still be a plastic product.
“With all the necessary formalities from the district administration, we have introduced the product in Mokokchung only last week on a trial basis and we’ve gotten a good response,” Jamir said. He claimed that the group is the first to introduce the product in the state.
Globally, it is acknowledged that single-use plastic waste has a negative influence on marine environments as well as terrestrial ecosystems. Jamir claimed that the product will not harm any organisms as they are made out of food products and can be easily decomposed.
Jamir said that the group had no financial backing and hence they contributed a total sum of Rs 1 lakh among themselves to start the venture, which he said was very less for the company so they had to do a lot of convincing for the collaboration.
“With all the transportation cost in the product being brought all the way from the southernmost part of India, we do not see much of a profit but we are happy that we are able to contribute a little to the society and the environment,” Jamir remarked.
The all-male group with ages ranging from 26-29 years has all completed their studies from various colleges and institutions during the past couple of years and are still unemployed. The group is said to have been active in doing cleanups in the town and have been firm believers in the anti-plastic campaign.
Plastic carry bags with a thickness of less than 120 microns are currently illegal to manufacture, import, stock, distribute, sell, and use as
of December 31, 2022 in India.
Plastic packaging consumption in India is on the rise, having increased by nearly 200% in the last decade. By January 1st, the thickness of potentially polluting carry bags was increased from 75 microns to 120 microns to allow the reuse of more plastic bags.
This was the second phase of addressing the pollution caused by light weight plastic carry bags.
The first phase was effective from 30th September 2021 when the thickness of plastic carry bags was increased from 50 microns to 75 microns.
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