Indian city eyes starch bags to cut down on plastic waste


In Andhra Pradesh, India, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has proposed introducing biodegradable shopping bags made of starch after it failed to push through a plastic bag ban.

The municipality is trying to control the plastic waste in the city, and had previously passed a bill forcing retailers to use plastic bags below 40 microns. City inspectors have been deployed to enforce the law. The municipality’s health wing had also considered jute bags, but ultimately decided not to pursue the measure because of cost.

“Around 30% of solid waste dumped in the city is plastic waste. We have cleared tonnes of plastic waste piled in canal bunds in the city and are searching for a cheap alternative for this,” VMC Commissioner J Nivas tells Times of India. “Rejino plastics, an agency which supplies eco-friendly carry bags made of starch, claims that these bags can take the same load as ordinary plastic bags. We need to protect the environment and curb the use of plastics.”