Asia Plastic Bans

India and the Bioplastic Bag Fiasco

Karnataka State adds bioplastics bags on the banned list of plastics items because they do not live up to expectations

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board authorities say that a majority of biodegradable bags do not live up to their claims. Karnataka is a south west region in India (yellow colour).

indian biodegradable plastic bags

The plastic ban came into force two years ago and created a green industry with many plastic bags being branded as eco-friendly.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike have tested several bags and came to the conclusion that many of these bags are not biodegradable or compostable.

As a result, these bioplastics bags have been included on the list of banned items.

BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Health and Solid Waste Management) Sarfaraz Khan said

“The bags didn’t compost. We found that many manufacturers were just printing “100% compostable” on bags and covers. For any bag to be certified as compostable, extensive research is needed.”

Problems and Solutions

Many bags with a biodegradable label did not biodegrade and many labels were fraudulent according to the state government.

Public officials have suggested that certified biodegradable bags should be manufactured with a unique colour that cannot be duplicated.

Another proposed solution will be to levy fines on those who use plastic bags and other forms of plastics that are on the list of banned items.


  • India is dealing with a problem of biodegradable labelling and certification.
  • Another solution would be to work with established bioplastics producers who provide sustainable bioplastics bags.
  • Indian Governments are giving a good example on how to turn the plastic issue  into a fiasco.
  • It shows how challenging the plastic issue has become.


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