Tech to help consumers to identify bags that claim to be compostable.

How often have you doubted the authenticity of the products sold with the ‘environment-friendly’ tag? The lack of standard certification for such items evokes scepticism in people’s minds. But now, a firm will make you feel assured about using the right kind of plastic bags. Ibhaan Digital Edge Advance Solutions has come up with a QR code technology using which, consumers can identify bags that claim to be compostable.

“The QR code is different on each bag. Upon scanning it, the manufacturer, date of production, certification status from the pollution control board, and materials used to make the bag will be revealed,” Ibhaan director S Sairam said, adding that there are 23 companies in the country that manufacture compostable carry bags and are certified by the Central Pollution Control Board.

However, there are several others that manufacture fake bags, which contain plastic content with less than 40 microns of plastic. Bio-compostable bags, on the other hand, are made of corn starch, Sairam pointed out.

The firm has tied up with Indian Compostable Polymer Association (ICPA) and has also found support from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Sriram said, adding, “We have also presented the idea to Karnataka’s forest department and are working towards tying up with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and State Pollution Control Board.” BBMP banned the use of plastic bags in 2016.

“Manufacturing plastic carry bags is cheaper, hence, people are lured to do so. But they promote it as bio-compostable bags, which are degradable when exposed to the environment,” said Srinivas P, director of technology in the company.

A few establishments in Tamil Nadu, such as Adyar Ananda Bhavan and Metro Cash & Carry, have already started using bags carrying the company’s QR code technology and the scanner app called DOVES (Document Originality Verification and Encryption System). Ibhaan is now waiting for ICPA to bring all its members on board, after which it will upload the app on Play Store to enable consumers to download it.

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