Cassava products can replace non-biodegradable plastics – Solid Waste Director

first_imgSingle-use plastic banEfforts to potentially ban the use of single-use plastics in Guyana have generated several ways in which an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative can be created.This has led to the successful production of replacements with cassava and other local components, which can be the solution if the hazardous plastics are indeed banned.Speaking with Guyana Times on Tuesday, Solid Waste Director, Walter Narine informed that the first attempt at making an alternative was conducted just a few days ago and it can very well be implemented to eradicate single-use plastics.“We’re basically extracting the starch component of these products, combining it with glycerin, table salt, water under some amount of heat and you have plastic which is biodegradable. We want to do that now because the Government is looking at a potential ban on [single use] plastics and we anticipate that we might want an alternative and one which will work very nicely,” said Narine.While they are yet to make bags from the material, the Solid Waste Director stated that the engagement was just to prove that cassava and other starch products can be utilised effectively, as is being done in other countries.“We have produced the plastics, but we haven’t produced the plastics bags. For that, you will have to have an equipment called an extruder. We would have to buy that extruder but we just showed that you can produce plastics from these cassava products and you can make anything.”If this material is to be used, it was assured that it is eco-friendly, cheaper to produce and can be easily disposed without causing any harm.“It is 100 per cent ecofriendly. Once you put in the water and stir vigorously, it will dissolve. I would say once all things are equal, it would be much cheaper to produce the plastics with cassava. It’s cheaper and environmentally friendly,” Narine specified.He added, “This was never used in Guyana. Thus will be the first attempt but it was a technology that was practiced in other countries. Everybody is accepting that we have a problem and the rush is on to find an alternative.”Last week, Stakeholder Management Coordinator of the Department of Environment, Aretha Forde told this publication that citizens from several populated areas across the country were engaged in discussions that will determine whether or not the plastics are banned. These consultations were completed in areas such as Anna Regina, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, and Linden.Single-use plastics are everyday items which are made of plastic and are disposed of after being used once with the common ones being bags, straws and bottles.Many persons are pushing for the ban to be implemented so that the surroundings can be rid of these plastics. It is believed that a large quantity of waste that is being disposed on a daily basis is made up of single-use plastics.With the large sums of monies that are being spent to collect garbage in the city, City Hall is also contemplating to charge a fee for every barrel of waste that is collected. This service is currently free in the Georgetown area. (Rupadai Seenaraine)last_img

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