Industry looks for biodegradable plastics for carry bags
Industry looks for biodegradable plastics for carry bags

PUNE: The ban on the use of plastic carrybags of a certain quality by governments and civic bodies across the country is an opportunity for the development of biodegradable plastic. Such material can be made into bags for the same purpose, of carrying goods.

“”The use of biodegradable plastic could come in easily for the use of carrying goods rather than as a primary package. A wider use of such bio degradable materials will make them commercially viable,”” said Harish Joshi, managing director, Nichrome India, a mid-sized packaging machinery manufacturer.

He added, “”Bio degradable materials cannot be used as a primary packaging material since there are issues of shelf life for the contents of the package. For instance, the shelf life of the product may be a year while that of the package may be only three months! Carry bags can also be made from materials which use vegetable sources but then the debate will move to food versus packaging, as it did with fuel.””

Joshi, whose machinery making company expects to clock revenues of Rs. 70 crore this fiscal, said they are in the process of building verticals. “”Our focus is on food, pharma, cosmetics or personal care and agriculture, for seeds. We are not looking presently at the engineering packaging sector,”” he said.

As part of Nichrome’s move to build vertical expertise, it has signed technology transfer and royalty payment agreements with a Spanish and a US based company for the manufacture of different machines. This will help the domestic manufacturer position itself as a cost effective batch manufacturer, as against the Chinese positioning of mass manufacturer.

“”India is 25-30% lower cost than the rest of the world. We derive almost 40% of our revenues from exports and now we can offer greater variety,”” he said.

The move by FMCG companies to tap the bottom of the pyramid for more and more products is creating an opportunity for players like this one. Joshi said companies are working on providing 10-15 gm sachets of ‘ghee’ or 10 ml sachets of edible oil. Some of these sachets could come with zippers or with spouts, for ease of use.


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