Sonali Bag, made from Jute Based Completely Biodegradable Packaging Material was the winner of the Bangladesh Business Innovation Award (BBIA) 2019 in the ‘Best Innovation – Product Development’ category.
Plastic is one of the most abundantly consumed material because it is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture-resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Most products on the market whose useful lifespan is only up to a few months but the plastic packaging material used to sell them can last for several centuries. Over-consumption and subsequent littering in addition to the durability and slow degradation rate have resulted in serious environmental pollution and day by day the problem is becoming more and more lethal to nature and ourselves.
In order to meet the packaging needs of today without compromising the ability of future generation’s demands, an alternative was in dire need of development which would also be crafted from renewable resources. Thus, the research team under Prof. Dr. Mubarak Ahmad Khan has developed a substance which is the latest generation of biodegradable and sustainable packaging material from jute-based cellulose.
The product has many unique aspects to it:
- it is completely biodegradable and compostable, as it takes 5-6 months to degrade in soil.
- It is time-dependent water soluble, could be designed to sustain in water from hours to months.
- It is edible, so after degradation, it becomes a food source for microorganisms existing in soil and water.
- It is – on average – 1.5 times stronger by tensile strength and unlike PP or PE, it has better thermal stability.
Moreover, both the product and production process is environmentally friendly and the cultivation of raw material (cropS), jute reduces carbon emission. The project is considered as a potential solution for SDG 6, 11, 12, 13 and 14 set by the UN as well as Bangladesh Government. Ensuring the economic viability, the project is funded by Bangladesh Government to run at a pilot scale and in July 2017 and soon the project will be facilitated with the capacity of 1 million bags per day.