On the occasion of World Environment Day, BASF, with the support of the Pune Municipal Corporation, announced the launch of its pilot composting project. The project aims at promoting composting of source-separated organic waste in certified compostable and fully biodegradable bags. “Through this project we wish to promote composting as the most effective and efficient method for organic waste management. Further, the launch of this joint project in conjunction with World Environment Day aptly exemplifies the theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ as it serves to demonstrate how a community can contribute to and benefit from a sustainable future,” said Dr. Tobias Haber, Head, Specialty Plastics Asia Pacific, BASF.
As part of the project launch, composting awareness booths were stationed in two residential complexes in Pune. Certified compostable and fully biodegradable bags made of BASF’s Ecovio were distributed to residents, to source-separate organic waste. The compostable bags made of Ecovio with source separated organic waste were collected and transported to an industrial composting site the next day. Speaking about this initiative, Mr. Prasad Chandran, Chairman, BASF Companies in India & Head South Asia said, “BASF is committed to creating chemistry for a sustainable future. Through this pilot project, we aim to showcase our efforts and contribution in the biodegradable plastics segment to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse emissions. It is a privilege to partner Pune Municipal Corporation towards promoting a green initiative on the special occasion of World Environment Day.”
Together with BASF, we are excited to explore the potential for composting of source-separated organic waste as a sustainable alternative to landfilling. Composting of organic waste will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the compost produced is a marketable commodity that can be returned to the soil to improve soil quality, reduce fertilizer use and serve as a cost-effective alternative for landscaping”, remarked Mr. Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation. Landfilling of organic matter is environmentally detrimental as it generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. As organic waste has a high water content, incineration is also not a suitable alternative as it requires significant amounts of energy and results in higher emissions of carbon dioxide.
As the global market leader in the area of biodegradable polymers, BASF’s solutions include compostable and fully biodegradable shopping and waste bags made of Ecoflex® and Ecovio (a compound of Ecoflex and polylactic acid). Such bags ensure that source-separated organic waste can be sent directly to industrial composting sites to be processed and converted into high-quality compost without having to separate the bags from waste. As such, industrial composting with compostable and fully biodegradable bags is the most efficient and effective waste management option for organic waste. The high water content in organic waste also makes it difficult to collect and transport it in paper bags. Waste bags made of biodegradable, compostable plastic on the other hand make collection of organic waste more hygienic as they are tear-resistant and provide a barrier to odors.