The Government has approved a Startup loan of Rs 1.15 crores to TGP Bioplastics, a bioplastic firm for commercialising compostable plastic, in a bid to mitigate the usage of Single Use Plastics (SUP).

An MoU was signed between the Technology Development Board, a statutory body under the Department of Science & Technology and the firm for manufacturing and commercialisation of compostable plastic.

The Startup has come up with an alternative solution to SUPs with the prototype of a compostable plastic material which breaks down as a compost in soil without affecting the environment. The project received seed funding from NIDHI Prayas(DST), Niti Aayog and UNIDO for the prototype development.

Minister of Science & technology, Dr Jitendra Singh said the concept of compostable plastic will be scaled up with further government support for driving global action on plastic pollution.

Currently, very few degradable materials/composites are available in the market. Most of them cost more than Rs. 280/kg for the raw materials. The cheapest degradable polymer today is Polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) which is available at Rs. 280-300/kg, whereas conventional plastic raw materials cost around Rs. 90/kg. Hence, the market willingness for the degradable plastic is less. To solve this problem, TGB Bioplastics has developed a new composite material which is cheaper than the available compostable plastic (~Rs 180/kg), having comparable strength.

The composite is a unique blend of Thermoplastic-Starch (TPS)-glycerin with some chemical modifications that provides higher strength with low manufacturing cost. The granules prepared from this composite can be moulded into any shape and used as per the requirement, and it further breaks down into natural substances once thrown out. With funding from TDB, the company targets a production capacity of 880 MT per annum, with an aim to provide compostable packaging solutions in the context of the nation’s need to phase out non-compostable SUP.

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