The courteous Khadi added a new occasion to its appeal this time. The occasion it chose for the historic move, as handcrafted paper carry bags which were made from waste plastic caught the eyeballs of the power-packed crowd at Rashtrapati Bhawan which was present on Thursday evening.
At Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, the bags consisting of water bottles inside them grabbed the pride of their place, in the company of every renowned dignitary. The bags were supplied from Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s (KVIC) Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI), Jaipur that experimented with this green initiative. The President personally made the selection, as per KVIC and ordered 7,000 bags for the special occasion.
According to KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, the paper bags were made under an exclusive project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic in Nature) project and the manufacturing process involved waste plastic being collected, refined, chopped, beaten and given chemical treatment for softness.
After that, the mixture was mixed with paper raw material, that is, rags and pulp in a ratio of 80% (pulp) and 20% (plastic waste) and then finally sheets were made from it, he explained. “The feeling was like Khadi India was saluting its patron from all angles at that event. If the Khadi’s growth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term is an indication, we are all ready to add many more feathers in Khadi’s cap in the coming days,” said Saxena.
KNHPI has supplied over seven lakh handmade paper bags till now which consumed over 17 metric tonnes of plastic waste in its manufacturing. Now, Khadi plans to set up four such units, one each at Delhi, Patna, Nashik, and Chennai. The present unit at Jaipur would be upgraded very soon with new technologies, added Saxena.