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
Shilpi Madan for The Sunday Standard