Indian startup looks to make a dent in country’s plastic waste crisis

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In India, startup EnviGreen is looking to mitigate India’s growing problem of plastic waste in waterways by developing a biodegradable, edible bag for food packaging.

Founder Ashwath Hedge tells PSFK that he begin experimenting with biomaterials four years ago. He eventually developed a six-step process using twelve ingredients, derived from potato, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana, and flour oil, that yielded a material that functioned like plastic but took less than 180 days to biodegrade. When placed in water, this is shortened to less than a day. The materials are edible and do not pose a risk to animals or marine life.

EnviGreen currently produces the bags, which cost about 35% more to produce than traditional plastic bags, at a 1,000-metric-tons-per-year facility in Bangalore. India generates 15,000 metric tons of plastic waste every day.