Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Veena Industries to incubate its biodegradable and edible films for food and pharmaceutical packaging.
BARC will provide technical knowledge and infrastructure, while Veena industries will provide an incubation plan, market search, manpower and material at its own cost, and will finally be the license holder of the technology.
BARC made the biodegradable films from natural resources in a bid to overcome the disadvantages of plastic packaging materials. It says that they possess good mechanical and barrier properties.
The team will attempt to scale up the technology at BARC's incubation centre in order to develop the products according to market requirements. The raw materials will be subjected to a suitable dose of Gamma radiation to improve the tensile strength and water vapour transmission rate.
Packaging constitutes the largest market for plastics, amounting to more than 12 million tonnes annually. As synthetic packaging materials are made up of non-biodegradable and non-renewable petroleum-based products, their large-scale use is a major environmental concern. One of the alternatives is the development of packaging material from biopolymers that are biodegradable, non-toxic and from completely renewable resources.