SA will soon have 100% biodegradable plastic bags

South Africans will soon be able to dispose of their plastic bags along with the rest of their waste without having to worry about any possible negative effects on the environment.

The development could prove to be disruptive to the plastic industry in the country.

The innovation is attributed to a team of scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Polymer and Composite Research Group in Port Elizabeth.

The 100% biodegradable plastic bags will be made from agricultural byproducts.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, senior researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research spoke to 702 host, Azania Mosaka about this ground-breaking development.

The maize and sugar cane bio-based bags are completely biodegradable in mud‚ soil‚ water and compost and break down completely in just three to six months.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, Senior Researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research

Muniyasamy says the bags will be durable and can be re-used. He adds that they are in talks with Plastic SA to educate South Africans on how to use the bags and dispose of them in the recommended manner.

Also read: 27 contact lenses removed from British woman's eye

Muniyasamy said the new bags currently cost two to three times more to manufacture than normal bags.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, Senior Researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research

Listen to the interview here:

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