SRINAGAR: Kashmir’s maiden biodegradable polythene plant is yet to start as the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) is reluctant to give it a nod owing to legal restrictions on sale of use of polythene in the ecologically-fragile Valley.
The concept of setting up a biodegradable polythene unit was conceived by Zayeem Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Hyderpora here. The idea was to introduce biodegradable polythene bags in the Valley’s markets to counter the environmental problems caused by ordinary polythene bags.
Search for the knowledge of producing biodegradable polythene led Zayeem to a Mumbai-based company involved in manufacturing biodegradable polythene. Back home, the aspiring entrepreneur decided to start the plant, and approached the SPCB for clearance certificate.
However, SPCB’s consideration of legal restrictions is proving to be a hiccup.
“I have been visiting SPCB’s office for past more than six months to get its consent. But SPCB is reluctant to give nod in view of the High Court’s ban on use of polythene,” Zayeem told Kashmir Reader.
“I intend to manufacture biodegradable plastic bags, and I am going to give my product a distinct identity by marking the bags with a flexographic printer,” he said.
Biodegradable polythene is manufactured from vegetable products, and the final cost of the carry bags is almost equivalent to that of the bags made from ordinary polythene.
While seeking government’s approval, Zayeem had been confident that his product would get clearance from the departments concerned.
“My product is need of the hour, and it could end the use of polythene carry bags,” he said. “But the SPCB wants to be doubly sure that my product is biodegradable, even though the raw material I am using is certified by the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) Chennai.”
But SPCB officials say they will try to convince the court about biodegradable nature of the product entrepreneurs like Zayeem seek to manufacture.
“There are proposals from entrepreneurs for launching this product in the Valley, and we are hopeful that the court will give its consent in the next hearing that is due June 7,” SPCB’s Legal Advisor M M Shah told Kashmir Reader.