Plan it green: The plastic bag that dissolves in water, degrades in soil  

A first of its kind, the organisation, which piloted in 2019, assumes even more significance in light of the recent ban on single-use plastic in the country.

Published: 11th September 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2022 03:55 PM   |  A+A-

GreenPlast CEO Kavitha Ranjan 

GreenPlast CEO Kavitha Ranjan 

Last year Kavitha Ranjan found herself at sea after her father passed away. Not only was she dealing with a great personal loss, but was also faced with the responsibility of taking forward her father’s crusade to save the environment.

A software engineer by profession, Kavitha is realising her late father VS Veerasami’s dream of pioneering a viable alternative to throw-away plastic by spearheading Greenplast, a Coimbatore-based start-up that has created a biodegradable alternative to plastic carry bags in the form of dissolvable non-toxic, water-soluble bags and pellets. A first of its kind, the organisation, which was piloted in 2019, assumes even more significance in light of the recent ban on single-use plastic in the country.

“Water-soluble packaging is the best alternative for most single-use plastic items. We want to make a change by creating awareness about plastics, one bag at a time,” says Kavitha. Made using water-soluble polymer PVA, processed starch, vegetable oil derivatives and other non-plastic additives, their products ellets, films and bio bags—dissolve completely in water, both hot and cold, without leaving any traces. Their bags also degrade when put in mud due to the reaction of microorganisms. 

“The base for any material that will work as a replacement for plastic, and behaves like plastic, should be a polymer. Our base is the exact blend of PVA and processed starch, apart from other non-plastic ingredients such as vegetable oil,” she says.

The idea to find an environment-friendly alternative to plastic first struck Kavitha’s father in 2013. He was running a wall putty manufacturing business at the time, and was bothered by the plastic waste piling around him. He decided to set out on a mission, seeking ideas and researching extensively to finally launch GreenPlast in 2018.

“For his research, he visited Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia and China to understand the plastic replacement products and discovered that there is a technology to make daily-use organic bags, but the primary raw materials for manufacturing these bags—biodegradable pellets—are unavailable in the Indian market,” she says, adding that it was this gap that her father wanted to fill.  

To figure out the products to create water-soluble pellets that could be used as alternatives to plastic bags, he tried out different combinations of ingredients to finally arrive at industrial starch, water-soluble polymers, and other non-plastic elements. According to Kavitha, the bags do not leave a residue of microplastics as they are totally devoid of plastics.

Greenplast’s first bunch of orders were for water-soluble laundry bags for hotels and hospitals. Now their bags are used across agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. 

To take her father’s dream a step further, Kavitha is now looking to set up a manufacturing unit for water-soluble solid objects that can replace plastic earbuds, bottle caps and garment packaging items among others. 


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