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  • Writer's pictureDivyesh Dadhaniya

Compostable materials: Made in India

India is on the brink of a sustainable revolution, driven by groundbreaking advancements in compostable material technology.

Leading the charge, Reliance Industries (RIL) has demonstrated their cutting-edge PBAT manufacturing technology,

setting the standard for quality and market requirements. PBAT, or PolyButylene Adipate Terephthalate, is a versatile and compostable material commonly used in flexible film products.

In a parallel stride, Balrampur Chini has initiated the construction of a state-of-the-art PLA (Polylactic Acid) manufacturing plant. PLA, known for its commercial viability, is a go-to compostable material for rigid products. This shift signifies India's transition towards self-reliance in compostable materials, reducing dependence on imports and positioning itself as a global leader in sustainable solutions.

Reliance Industries has demonstrated their patented PBAT technology
Reliance Industries (RIL) with PBAT
Reliance Industries is showcasing its patented PBAT manufacturing technology at the prestigious Global Conclave on Plastics Recycling and Sustainability (GCPRS) 2024 in Delhi.

This event marks a significant milestone in India's journey towards sustainability, highlighting the nation's commitment to innovative and eco-friendly practices.

Understanding PBAT and PLA: Champions of Compostable Materials

PBAT (PolyButylene Adipate Terephthalate):

  • Composition: 100% petroleum-based

  • Applications: Primarily used for making flexible films

  • Compostability: Home compostable, degrading swiftly in any weather condition

  • Misconceptions: Often misrepresented as corn-based, it is crucial to note that while PBAT is compostable, it is not derived from corn.

PLA (Polylactic Acid):

  • Composition: 100% bio-based, sourced from corn starch or sugarcane

  • Applications: Predominantly used in rigid products, with minor use in flexible products

  • Compostability: Industrially compostable, adhering to ISO: 17088 standards, ensuring at least 90% degradation in 180 days under specified conditions, leaving no harmful residues.

The Rising Stars of Biopolymers

Besides PBAT and PLA, the biopolymer industry boasts a variety of other materials, each with unique properties and applications:

  • PHA (PolyHydroxy Alkanoates)

  • PBS (PolyButylene Succinate)

  • PPC-P (Propylene Carbonate Copolymer)

These biopolymers, although currently produced at smaller scales and higher costs, represent the future of sustainable materials. The continuous development of new biopolymers promises to replace traditional plastics, step by step, across various industries.

India’s Vision for a Sustainable Future

India is embracing the future with a clear vision: to lead the global compostable materials industry. The proactive investment by corporate giants like Reliance Industries and Balrampur Chini underscores the nation's commitment to sustainable practices. As these companies prepare to launch their products, the compostable industry in India is set to flourish.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on net-zero emissions and sustainable development is steering the nation towards a greener future.

Despite challenges in implementing new regulations, such as the single-use plastic ban, there is unwavering determination to advance. India's path to sustainability is inevitable, promising growth and leadership in eco-friendly practices.

India stands at the threshold of a new era, poised to become a global leader and export hub for compostable products. As the nation continues to innovate and invest in sustainable solutions, the future of India’s compostable materials industry looks exceptionally bright.


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