Pacogreen: Spearheading The Bioplastic Revolution In India

 Abhishek Panja,   FounderWe will not 'recycle' our way out of the plastic pollution crisis: we need a systemic transformation to achieve the transition to a circular economy - Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director.

The global Bioplastics market size is expected to hit around $63.55 billion by 2032 registering a compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of 18 percent between 2023 to 2032. This industry is seen as a ray of hope, combating the seemingly ever-increasing single-use plastic pollution crisis. Derived from sources such as cornstarch and vegetable fats, bioplastics have emerged as the most viable solution for the single-use plastic pollution crisis, acting exactly like plastic but without the harmful after-effects.

Driven by the fatal consequences of microplastics towards humans, animals, and the environment, caused due to recycled plastics and oxo-degradable plastics, this industry is rapidly gaining popularity. To further push such solutions, extensive global investments are taking place. Pacogreen, a Kolkata-based bootstrapped enterprise is emerging as a solution to this issue, creating a range of products that are designed to completely replace the toxic effects of single-use plastics in the world without altering the use cases. With DRDO Chief Scientists on its panel as Chief Advisors, the company is emerging as a solid player in the industry, ready to invent the standards of new-age plastics.

Going the Green Way
With a mission to remove the toxic effects of single-use plastic pollution, Pacogreen’s comprehensive line of products caters to diverse usages. Some of the flagship products designed and set to be manufactured by the firm include carry bags, garbage bags, grocery bags, courier bags, fruits & veggie bags, films, and much more. However, this is not where the company’s excellence stops – it's just where it begins. “While solving the problem we understood plastic is convenient due to its various properties and has been a blessing for us in the past! We wanted to manufacture something that would keep the use case of plastic without compromising on usability. So, we focussed towards making 100 percent compostable and biodegradable bioplastics which are made of cornstarch and various other starches that will be certified by DRDO and CIPET. Pacogreen’s product looks like plastic, feels like plastic, works like plastic but is not toxic like plastic", says Abhishek Panja, Founder of Pacogreen.

With this aim in mind, Pacogreen’s products are produced using cornstarch, abundantly and cheaply found in India, perfect for a growing business looking to drastically scale manufacturing in a short span of time. As opposed to jute, cotton, or paper which are quite expensive and inconvenient. The company plans to commercialize sturdier and more affordable bioplastics.

In addition to the unique raw material choice, the company also stands out for its revolutionary manufacturing process that is highly energy efficient. Compared to conventional manufacturing processes of toxic plastic carry bags, Pacogreen’s products are manufactured using 40-50 percent less energy, further reducing carbon footprint apart from Plastic footprint. Additionally, the products, when composted, or simply torn and fed to the soil, become a natural fertilizer and help in soil restoration. The company is also looking forward to collaborating with initiatives like Save Soil in the months ahead! Moreover, the firm offers
1 percent of its profits to corn farmers, believing strongly in the idea of giving back and staying true to its motto: ‘We grow by lifting others’.

The firm’s uniqueness further extends to its approach towards making the switch to bioplastics simpler for clients. The company utilizes a unique in-house process known as CUP to assist clients in transitioning from single-use plastics or other materials into compostable plastics. The CUP procedure entails three steps: C - Calculate It, U - Understand It, and P - Pacogreen It.

“We calculate the present plastic scenario in your packaging and supply chain, understand the use cases where we can easily transition to compostable plastic, and then simply PACOGREEN it through our industry leading and certified tech-driven solutions!”, Abhishek Panja adds.

With its drive and innovative approach to battle the plastic pollution crisis, the company has been the recipient of various recognitions including its nomination by UAE Climate Change Accelerators for 'The Earth Shot Prize of the Year', supported by Prince William, as well as being invited to the prestigious Bengal Global Business Summit 2023, and by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India (MoEFCC), Climate Change Finance Unit - Ministry of Economic Affairs, GoI to discuss the execution of the project.

An Impactful Future
The bioplastics industry is still in its nascent stages in most parts of the world, presenting exceptional potential for growth as companies seek cost-effective solutions like this. As awareness continues to rise, there is an equal rise in demand for high-quality, tested, and certified bioplastic products worldwide driven by corporate brands who want to reduce Plastic footprint and satisfy consumer interests. It has been found that 72 percent of Indian consumers prefer brands that support green initiatives, 80 percent of consumers wish to make a difference in this regard, 60 percent of consumers choose not to purchase from brands that don’t support green initiatives, and 28 percent of products with ESG claims averaged 28 percent better over the past 5 years.

With the aim to fulfill all of these demands, Pacogreen is embracing itself to become the biggest bioplastics manufacturer in India

With the aim to fulfill all these demands, Pacogreen is embracing itself to become the biggest bioplastics manufacturer in India, with a global presence. The company will also be collaborating with various manufacturers across India & abroad, in efforts to penetrate new markets and grow its manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing demands.

With its initial setup itself, Pacogreen anticipates a reduction of 2000 Metric Tonnes of plastic waste, reductions of nearly 32 crore toxic carry bags of size 10x40, providing 20 percent cost savings in comparison to the current 120-micron thickness plastic carry bags, and a reduction of 40-50 percent energy consumption.

The company also aims to turn West Bengal into the largest manufacturer of 100 percent compostable plastics for India. The region’s strategic location & infrastructure along with port and world-class transport facilities opens the gates to deliver products across the globe, and makes West Bengal the right choice for its ambitions. With significant global investments pouring into the bioplastics industry and concerted efforts to combat the issues associated with single-use plastics, Pacogreen stands at the ideal juncture for execution. This favorable position is further amplified by various governmental initiatives led by entities such as the Government of India and NITI AAYOG.

To meet both immediate needs and address the critical global issue of plastic pollution, Pacogreen is committed to becoming the largest bioplastics manufacturer in India. Founder Abhishek Panja concludes that the company is dedicated to providing a timely and comprehensive solution to various demands.