Commitment to Zero Plastic: Transforming Nepal’s Plastic Market with Bio Bags

Commitment to Zero Plastic: Transforming Nepal’s Plastic Market with Bio Bags

Bio Bags Nepal is a company dedicated to serving the Nepali market with an objective of replacing traditional non-biodegradable plastic bags with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. The founder, Mr. Dipesh Wyanju, a resident of Bhaktapur, recounts that he noticed a tea seller in Delhi using bags that looked like plastic but actually crafted from biodegradable cornstarch material. Inspired by the incident and motivated by the pressing environmental concerns relating to plastic pollution, Mr. Wyanju established this venture in 2021.

Operating under the slogan "Sankalpa: Shunya Plastic, Commitment to Zero Plastic," Bio Bags specializes in the production of bags made from cornstarch, a renewable resource. In the fiscal year 2021/22, Nepal's plastic imports amounted to Rs. 72.34 billion. The consumption of plastic in Kathmandu alone reaches millions on a daily basis. In this context, Bio Bags offers an eco-friendly alternative by reducing reliance on plastic bags.

The process of manufacturing Bio Bags involves extracting and processing cornstarch into a pliable material. Blowing and sealing machines shape and seal the bags, while a printing machine allows for customization. The end result is a range of eco-friendly bags, including garbage bags, packing bags, and carry bags, meeting both sustainability and quality standards. Bio Bags serves grocery retailers, bakery shops/restaurants and garment businesses, offering customizable bags with logos and business details. The company is currently supplying to municipalities that have embraced zero-plastic policies like Dhangadhi, Illam, and Pokhara. Eco-conscious brands like Arko and export-oriented garment companies have also adopted Bio Bags for packaging.

Albeit the sustainable value provided by bio bags, the market still favors cheaper plastic bags. To gain competitive edge in the market, Bio Bags has boost strapped itself to reduce costs of production by 30% and brought the selling price of bio bags much closer to that of plastic bags. To further its cause and reduce cost, Bio Bags seeks support from municipal bodies and wider stakeholders. Via their support, the company aims to raise awareness about the urgency of reducing plastic use and increase the adoption biodegradable products.

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