In a first, scientists of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have, with the help of homegrown technology, produced biodegradable plastic. This unique plastic was developed by IIT-G’s Centre of Excellence-Sustainable Polymers (CoE-SusPol). CoE-SusPol has already developed cutlery, furniture, flower pots and toys among other items.
This biodegradable plastic was developed by the scientists of CoE-SusPol and the project was funded by the department of chemicals and petrochemicals under the Union of chemicals and fertilizers, as reported by The Times of India. Vimal Katiyar, the CoE-SusPol coordinator said that this biodegradable plastic has passed the ‘hot-beverage test’. He also said that the plastic is unique as it has no hazardous chemicals. Katiyar said that the CoE-SusPol is the only centre carrying out research on biodegradable plastic. “Though the US has been a major producer of biodegradable plastic, the production costs there are very high. But our team has managed to achieve this with lower costs by using homegrown technology. This is cutting-edge innovation and a remarkable achievement,” said Katiyar.
Katiyar further added that this biodegradable plastic did not come from petroleum, but from bio-base, which is environment-friendly. Not only this plastic degrade automatically, but it will also help increase the soil fertility.
A Gujarat-based private company has offered help to IIT-G to begin its commercial production. Up till now, about 7-8 kg of biodegradable plastic was being produced in one go. Katiyar says that the pilot project, having 100 tonnes per year capacity will go on till September. Successful completion of the pilot project will then lead to commercial production.
The Logical Indian Take
Plastic pollution has become one of the major environmental concerns. It would be an understatement to say that these very plastic items, which take years to completely degrade, are literally choking the environment. However, it is also important to know that plastic has become almost an indispensable part of our lives. This biodegradable plastic perfectly hits the middle ground. The Logical Indian congratulates the team of scientists for this amazing feat.