Florafoam: A biodegradable packaging material

About Solution

Florafoam comes forth as a double-sided weapon to fight against Climate change. Firstly, as a product it replaces a traditional product causing hazard to the environment and secondly the raw materials used for the manufacture of Florafoam are contributors of environmental degradation if allowed to be disposed off in other manners.

Floarafoam is an alternative to Styrofoam i.e. Expanded Polystyrene which is non-biodegradable single use plastic. It is most widely used all over as a packaging material and therefore also manufactured in huge quantities i.e. 10 million metric tons/year. As there is no easy, cost effective way to recycle it, 91% of it is discarded post its use, thereby establishing itself as the world's 5th biggest pollutant. The afterlife of Styrofoam packaging can be seen as
Being dumped in the land, floating in rivers and oceans or getting burnt in dump yards. Needless to explain the disastrous levels of air, water and land pollution being caused by Styrofoam. Despite the efforts to stop Styrofoam’s usage through bans, lack of a perfectly suitable alternative makes the implementation difficult. In such times, Florafoam emerges as a hope.Agricultural residue also known as stubble and flower waste generated from places of worship are the major ingredients of Florafoam. In north Indian states after removing the crop, straw is set on fire by the farmers. Every year this stubble amounts to 100+ million tons. One can easily imagine what scary level of air pollution the burning of such humongous amount of organic waste must be causing. Dense smoke clouds containing hazardous gases is a terrible picture North India faces every winter.Throwing flowers offered to the god into water sources ispractisedin India out of certain religious beliefs. Decay of these flowers into water and pesticides present on them mixing in water degrade the water quality and disturb the ecosystem. Incorporation of stubble and flowers in Florafoam manufacturing as raw materials can help prevent these practices. Florafoam provides a key to fight against land, water and air pollution on multiple fronts which are in turn the root causes of climate change.



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