Amid the looming threat of plastic pollution, India is pioneering innovative solutions to combat this menace head-on. Various companies have adopted eco-friendly practices by discontinuing plastic overwraps for products. Soap wrappers and shampoo sachets are now crafted from recyclable materials, and soap stiffeners and cartons are entirely plastic-free. Liquid bottles incorporate 50% recycled PET, while others use biodegradable actives in its composition and recycled plastic in its packaging.
Similarly, some small companies, too, are playing their part. The shining example in this case is the manufacturing of cutlery and utensils made entirely from fallen areca leaves which offer an eco-friendly alternative to conventional plastic, polymer, and paper products. The process for manufacturing eco-friendly utensils is simple and natural. These areca leaves are collected from farms and then cleaned and soaked in water.
With the help of specialised machines, the leaves are then dried in the shade, and moulded into various shapes. Like any other plant matter, these utensils and cutlery decompose within 60 days. Also the waste generated during the production can be repurposed into biofuel bricks, vermicompost, and dry animal feed, further reducing environmental impact.
The Government of India in the past few years has taken several proactive steps to address the issue of plastic pollution. For example, in 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the nationwide “Clean and Green” campaign. This campaign engaged Urban Local Bodies across the country to encourage people to not use single-use plastics.