5,000 biodegradable bags handed over to Chamundi Hill Temple
Mysore/Mysuru: With the aim of reducing single-use plastic, the city-based Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) has launched environmentally safe packaging products made from natural and plant-based food-grade materials that are eco-friendly.
To popularise and raise public awareness about such bags, the DFRL has handed over 5,000 such bags to Sri Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill and the Temple authorities are using them to distribute prasadam.
Temple Executive Officer N.S. Yathiraj Sampathkumaran told Star of Mysore this morning that the prasadam bags will have both the branding of DFRL and the Chamundeshwari Temple,
Made of naturally available poly lactic acid poly pet, the bags are easily soluble in soil and is capable of carrying objects weighing up to 5 kg. Appearance-wise, the bags look like any other plastic bags but they have a special character and they melt completely within 180 days. It is a similar technology that has been used to make lunch plates, spoons, and food packets.
According to DFRL scientists, unlike the conventional polythene bags made from petrochemicals, which are highly unsafe to the environment and take years to degrade, these bags are the most sustainable, cost-effective, and ocean-safe alternative to single-use plastics.
A team of 15 scientists led by Dr. Jansi George, Dr. M. Paul Murugan, and Dr. Vasudevan had been conducting research on environmental-friendly plastic bags for the last five years and this team has come up with the product.
The team came up with the product after reaching the perfect formulation through rigorous testing. The strength and the biodegradability factors have been tested and the product has achieved the most sustainable alternative to plastic, DFRL sources added.
Temple Executive Officer Yathiraj said that the DFRL has given 5,000 bags free of cost to the Chamundeshwari Temple and it is the best alternative to plastic and even cloth. While a cloth bag costs around Rs.10 to Rs, 15, the eco-friendly bags will cost just Rs. 2.
“We will see the response of the people and then decide on bulk purchase of such bags for prasadam distribution. Every month, we need 10,000 to 15,000 bags and the demand spikes during festival season and Dasara,” he added. It may be mentioned here that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) which manages the Tirupati Venkateshwara Swamy Temple has approved the distribution of such bags and steps will be initiated to distribute these bags to Srikanteshwara Swamy Temple in Nanjangud and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangapatna. In addition, the DFRL will provide material to industries to produce the product, sources said.