KVIC develops carry bags made by mixing paper, plastic waste

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The KVIC has added another feather to its achievement by developing in-house paper carry bags by mixing plastic waste with paper pulp a major step towards environmental conservation, an official said on Sunday. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said a unique process has been adopted to make the hand bags. Plastic garbage collected from the drains were cleaned and processed. The final has only 20 per cent polythene waste, he said. Earlier the cost of production of handmade paper from white cotton rags was Rs 1,00,000 per metric tonne (MT), but after mixing polythene waste it has come down to Rs 66,000 per MT – a reduction of 34 per cent, the KVIC said in a statement. Earlier it used cost Rs 15.50 to make one bag from white cotton rags, but now it costs Rs 12.10, it said. Now with this experiment of mixing 20 per cent of plastic waste, two metric ton plastic waste will be utilized in manufacturing one lakh carry bags, which will remove plastic waste from the environment considerably, KVIC said. Another benefit of using plastic waste is that the bags are seven per cent stronger than the earlier variety, it said, adding the bags are being made by Jaipur-based Kumarappa Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI). KVIC said that KNHPI, established 26 years ago, was in a financially bad condition and with this new initiative, not only the plant and machinery would be utilised at the optimum level but the profits earned will make the institution self-reliant. KNHPI has got supply orders of 75,000 carry bags so far, which is likely to grow due its cost-effectiveness and durability, KVIC said in the statement. The project has been coined REPLAN (REmoving PLAstic from Nature) and from the stage of experiment to launch of the commercial product, it took only 28 days, it said. We dont claim that the project REPLAN has found an absolute solution to plastic menace, KVIC chairman Saxena was quoted as saying in the statement. It is an experiment to remove the existing waste plastic material from nature and use it in a semi-permanent manner, so that availability of plastic in nature is reduced to a large extent and bound into usable products that do not cause the kind of problems plastic causes at present. KVIC also said that being an active participant in the central governments Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, REPLAN was its way of dealing with one of the biggest problems of contemporary world – plastic.