CHENNAI: The ban on plastic has finally convinced people to use alternatives. Eco-enthusiasts and entrepreneurs are hard at work to manufacture eco-friendly products. Caught in this new wave, biodegradable cutlery is finding buyers now. Areca and bagasse are the most popular ones, with rice-husk products as a new favourite. With the ability to be reused and microwaved, these BPA-free (Bisphenol A-free) products contain nothing toxic and can be made to suit the client’s preferences.
Bengaluru-based Save Globe, currently trading online manufactures BIO Plasics (PLA), wooden cutlery, rice husk and bagasse products, areca and coconut-coir products along with cloth bags. Edible cutlery is a new range of products they are experimenting with. “The core ingredients for the edible spoons are wheat flour, water and cornstarch. They are baked and the flavour can be changed on requirement. Currently we manufacture edible spoons at `2.5-3 on a small scale,” said Suhasan Reddy, co-founder of Save Globe.
The company, started by Suhasan and his wife Harika, has over 15 domestic and international clients. Their reusable rice husk products are priced between `400 and `1,000. They are microwavable up to three minutes or 120°C. The products also start degrading in 60 days, said the eco-enthusiast.
Green Nature, Bakeys and Earthware Products are few other companies that manufacture edible cutlery.
Shravan, an employee at Tesco, purchased a rice husk sipper for his daughter from Save Globe. “It’s a safe and durable product. My daughter has been using it for over a month,” he says.
But, the industry often faces questions their credibility on sustainability, composting quality and reusing disadvantages. For example, BIO Plastics, made from agricultural byproducts and used plastics, have received a lot of criticism as they look very much like ordinary plastic. But they are manufactured from corn starch; they’re also biodegradable and do not need composting.