Speaking at a recent seminar BASF organized in the Indian state of Pune, Dr. Raman Ramachandran, Head South Asia & Chairman BASF Companies in India said, “According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board, waste going to landfill in India contains around 50% organic matter by mass, which then does not biodegrade aerobically and produces methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“Instead, when source-segregated, the organic waste can be treated in an industrial composting facility, and turned into high quality compost for agricultural use.
He added, “Certified compostable bags made with BASF’s ecovio offer a more sustainable alternative for organic waste management, thereby contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, extending the lifetime of landfills, and helping to decrease the disposal costs for residual waste.”
BASF’s argument is that certified compostable bags enable the hygienic collection of organic waste, preventing liquid leaking from organic waste and keeping out odours. In addition, using compostable waste bags means that they can be processed immediately upon arrival at composting sites to be quickly converted into high quality compost, which in turns can help improve soil quality, treat loss of arable land and reduce greenhouse emissions.
In 2012, with the support of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), BASF launched a pilot composting project in Pune, aimed at promoting composting of source-segregated organic waste in certified compostable and biodegradable organic waste bags.
Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation said, “It is our constant endeavour to reduce waste in the city as much as possible and these bags are the solution we have been seeking.
“We have previously worked with BASF for an awareness project wherein we used ecovio bags for organic wastes. At the end of 90 days, organic waste which was source- segregated and collected in BASF’s ecovio bags had completely biodegraded.”
ecovio is made of the partially bio-based ecoflex and PLA (polylactic acid). Acording to BASF, ecovio waste bags can be completely broken down by microorganisms with the aid of enzymes, like the biodegradable waste itself. At the end of the composting process, the microorganisms can completely convert the bags into carbon dioxide, water and biomass - helping to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in the regular garbage cans, and also lowering the disposal costs for residual waste.