SRINAGAR: Tamil Nadu-based Sathya Ventures Steppingstone Ventures is in Kashmir Valley to offer a biodegradable alternative to the banned non-biodegradable disposable dishware used during weddings and at food outlets.
The company’s partner Sathya Prabhu T T has been in Kashmir for a month, manufacturing and promoting the biodegradable plates and bowls that are meant to replace the ones made from plastic, polystyrene and other similar stuff.
The company makes the dishware from tree leaves, which decompose easily after use. The leaves of areca palm trees, which produce areca or beetle nut, are, according to Prabhu, fast replacing thermacol or styroforam plates being used extensively in the Valley.
“Our company makes a range of biodegradable plates, and I realise that we could make the ones for serving different chutneys served during wazwan. They can be used for serving dry fruit also,” he told Kashmir Reader.
To overcome the challenge of tapping the Valley’s retail market, the company is making the major suppliers aware about their products, he said.
“Many are placing orders with us. I am hopeful that these plates would soon be a regular part of weddings and food outlets in Kashmir,” he said.
“Once the demand grows, we will increase the production, while other manufactures of biodegradable single-use items may also become keen to give us competition.”
Backing the company’s efforts, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) imposed ban on the use of disposable plates made of thermacol, styrofoam, or plastics by the food outlets here, citing environmental and health hazards.
The order openly mentioned the Sathya Ventures Steppingstone Ventures as an alternative to the banned items.
“One Sathya Prabhu TT Sathya Ventures Steppingstone Ventures has come up with a Areca Leaf made plates with is natural, biodegradable and suitable for selling of eatables in Srinagar city,” read the order.
While attempts to destroy thermacol, styrofoam, or plastic items cause either air or water pollution, the leaves used by the company, Prabhu said, decompose naturally.
“The leave plates are highly biodegradable; switching over to them could save the environment. At the same time, they are cost effective,” he said.