After the implementation of the SUP ban in India, many companies are underway to receive compostable CPCB certificates for manufacturing compostable products.
Although all of the CIPET's compostable testing slots are reserved, several additional CIPETs have developed compostable testing facilities and begun compostable testing.
It shows that compostable products are in trending and demand is increasing. The government is also pushing everyone to stop using plastics and look for alternatives.
Demand for newer applications is coming in the market, many companies & organizations are looking for viable sustainable alternatives to their plastic packaging. There are numerous demands floating in the market, but some of them are challenging and require rigorous research & development to provide solutions. Dedicated R&D is lacking currently, but many interested and visionary entrepreneurs have started doing research and will be able to provide appropriate solutions soon.
To give examples, currently the market is looking for stretch film, food packaging, paper coating, injection molded items, bendable straws, toys and many more industry-specific requirements. The solution has to be fully compostable, viable from a cost and quality point of view.
DRDO is also motivating industrialists to establish compostable material and product manufacturing setups; moreover, they are providing end-to-end solutions for the complete plant setup. DRDO and CPCB are organizing seminars to motivate entrepreneurs to involve in the most emerging and sustainable field. On the other hand, the government have not implemented the SUP ban effectively on the ground level. Today, all the banned plastic items are being used and sold. The government might be waiting for enough supply of alternate products to implement the ban strictly.
We are witnessing the climate change crisis all over the world due to pollution. A recent Times of India article says; As plastic toys, bottles, etc wear out, tiny plastic particles are released into the air, water and soil, exposing us to the hundreds of toxic chemicals that are used to make plastics. Around 13,000 chemicals are used to make plastics of these, 3,200 are known to be chemicals of potential concern, while hazard data is missing for 6,000 other chemicals. Late in the 20th century, plastics became an environmental problem because they decompose slowly. However, tiny plastic particles called microplastics and nanoplastics have become a health concern in recent years. These particles arise from the wear and tear of plastics. For example, washing synthetic clothes like polyester shirts in a washing machine releases microplastics into the water. Such particles have already entered the food chain. The smaller nanoparticles are also present in water and air, so they can invade our blood, lungs and other organs.
Furthermore, the article has also explained how the burning of plastics is problematic. Burning plastic waste contributes 13.4% of PM2.5 particles in Delhi’s air. The figure is 15% for Dhaka, 6.8% for Nanjing and 3% for Atlanta, per the Annals of Global Health report. Inhaling micro- and nanoplastics can cause irritation in the respiratory tract, and even trigger cancer over the long term. Not to forget the worsening effect on all the body parts.
We are experiencing the adverse effect of plastic pollution. Still, I witness hesitation in public to stop being a part of plastic pollution. The efforts to find sustainable alternatives are lacking.
We must keep in mind that there is only one Earth.