How to set up Biodegradable Plastic Bag Manufacturing Plant in India?

Plastic is produced on a vast scale worldwide, and its production has skyrocketed to 150 million tonnes annually globally. In 2008, India only consumed around 8 million tonnes of plastic products. Surprisingly, in all forms, more than 18 trillion pounds of plastic have been produced, and 18 billion pounds flow into the ocean annually. This poses a severe threat to marine animals and the environment. As the name suggests, single-use plastics are used only once before they are discarded and end up in water bodies and landfills. In fact, this shows that plastics never degrade and remain on the landscape for many years. The only viable solution to this is biodegradable plastic.

Unlike traditional plastics, biodegradable plastics are designed to gradually break down into natural components rather than stay in the environment for several years. Many types of biodegradable plastics are available, such as those made from plant-based materials like potato starch, cornstarch and sugarcane. These materials are renewable and often possess a lower carbon footprint than traditional plastics made from petroleum-based materials.

Also, as more and more consumers become aware of the influence of their buying decisions on the environment, businesses are indenting to meet this demand by offering sustainable packaging options such as biodegradable plastic bags. The increasing environmental concern has made biodegradable carry bags a popular trend. Starting a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing business can be a lucrative step as it helps reduce environmental pollution and offers a unique selling point for businesses.

Read everything in detail in this blog to know the key steps involved in setting up a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing plant in India. So, if you're an entrepreneur looking to enter this sector, this blog will provide complete information.

Things to consider prior to starting a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing business in India

Entrepreneurs keen to set up biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing plants in India must consider several factors before starting this business. Here's a checklist of the same -

  • One important consideration is the cost and availability of raw materials. Plant-based materials produced in biodegradable plastics can be more expensive or difficult to obtain than traditional petroleum-based materials.
  • If you're considering starting this business, you must have a sound knowledge of its functions, operations and the required capital.

Why the need to start biodegradable plastic carry bag manufacturing business in India?

The manufacturing of biodegradable plastic carry bags is becoming popular as consumers become conscious of the environmental impacts of single-use plastics.

Usage of biodegradable plastic bags

Biodegradable plastic bags find a broad range of applications in the following fields -

  • wrapping materials
  • packaging films
  • clothing
  • shopping and garbage bags
  • fluid containers
  • toys
  • household items
  • industrial products
  • building materials
  • replacing a vast collection of traditional forms of plastic containers, packets, and trays
  • loose cups
  • bottles
  • films
  • pots

Importance of manufacturing biodegradable plastic bags

  • Biodegradable plastic bag packaging solutions aid in conserving energy, reducing the amount of waste generated and lowering the carbon footprint of products.
  • These environment-friendly bags also help promote a more ethical and responsible approach to business operations.
  • Additionally, using biodegradable materials in packaging not only aids lower landfill waste but also motivates consumers to implement more sustainable practices in their daily routine.
  • Moreover, biodegradable plastic bags can aid businesses in luring environmentally conscious consumers and creating a positive brand image.
  • Another significant aspect of this effective packaging solution is its economic benefits. By optimising packaging materials and lowering waste, businesses can save costs on transportation and packaging.
  • With the increasing demand for eco-friendly items, biodegradable plastic bags can also help companies stay competitive.
  • Adopting such sustainable practices can also result in innovations in design and materials, which can create new revenue streams and drive product differentiation.
  • Lastly, entrepreneurs can show their commitment to environmental stewardship and contribute to a more sustainable future by investing in a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing business.

Market analysis of biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing business

The biodegradable plastic carry bag market is driven by various factors like -

  • rising government initiatives to reduce plastic waste;
  • the increasing awareness among consumers about the harmful effects of traditional packaging; and
  • the growing demand for biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials. The food & beverage sector is one of the major consumers of biodegradable plastic carry bags, followed by the healthcare and personal care industries. The trend towards e-commerce has also raised the demand for environmentally friendly packaging as companies look forward to cost-effective and sustainable packaging solutions. Due to growing awareness and the increasing population, India is anticipated to note the fastest growth in the biodegradable plastic carry bag market. However, a bit high cost of the materials and the lack of proper plastic waste management infrastructure in some areas may hinder the market growth.

To effectively handle this situation, the Government of India has come up with Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules which are amended from time to time. Thus, the biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing plant must comply with product labelling requirements and PWM regulations. So, it becomes mandatory to understand specific terms and get any necessary licenses & permits prior to starting the business. Upcoming sections elaborate on the same. Categories of plastics

The main categories of plastics are -

A. Recyclable Plastics (Thermoplastics): HDPE, PET, LDPE, PVC, PP, PS, etc.

B. Non-Recyclable Plastics (Thermoset & others): Laminated and Multilayer Plastics, PUF, Polycarbonate, Bakelite, Melamine, Nylon etc.

PWM rules

Rule 8 (b) of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) (Amendment) Rules, 2011 states that according to the BIS Codification, there are seven categories of plastics:

  • 1. PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • 2. HDPE - High-Density Polyethylene
  • 3. PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
  • 4. LDPE - Low-Density Polyethylene
  • 5. PP - Polypropylene
  • 6. PS - Polystyrene
  • 7. O - Others

Plastic Waste Management Rules 2022

The PWM Rules, 2022 define biodegradable plastic as that plastics, other than compostable plastics which undergo complete degradation by biological steps under ambient environment (terrestrial or in water) conditions, in the given time frame, without leaving any microplastics or distinguishable, visible or toxic residue, which have harmful environmental impacts, adhering to laid down standards of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and certified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Necessary conditions

The provision of thickness won't apply to carry bags made up of biodegradable plastics. Carry bags made from biodegradable plastics must adhere to the Indian Standard: IS/ISO 17088:2021, titled Specifications for Compostable Plastics, as amended over time. The manufacturers or sellers of biodegradable plastic carry bags must obtain a certificate from the CPCB before marketing or selling.

Protocols for biodegradable plastic bag materials

(1) Determination of the degree of degradability and disintegration of plastic material must be according to the protocols of the Indian Standards listed in Schedule I.

(2) The biodegradable plastic materials must conform to the IS/ISO 17088:2021, as amended over time.

(3) The biodegradable plastics must conform to the standard notified by the BIS and certified by the CPCB.

(4) Until the BIS notifies a standard referred to in sub-rule (3), biodegradable plastics must conform to tentative Indian Standard IS 17899 T:2022.

(5) As a transitory measure, a provisional certificate for biodegradable plastics will be issued by the CPCB in cases where an interim test report is filed for an ongoing test, which includes the first component of the IS 17899 T:2022 relating to biodegradability given at Sl. No.

(i) or (ii) of Table 1 or Sl. No. (i) of Table 2 of the IS 17899 T:2022: Given that the provisional certificate must be valid till 30th June 2023 with the condition that import or production of the biodegradable plastic bags must stop after 31st March 2023.

(6) The interim test report must be obtained from the Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology or a lab recognised under the Laboratory Recognition Scheme, 2020, of the BIS or labs accredited for this purpose by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. Also, they must certify the bio-degradation of plastic is in line with IS 17899 T:2022.

Necessary licenses required for setting up biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing plant in India

  • GST
  • CPCB Registration
  • NOC from Pollution Department

Primary reasons for the growth of the biodegradable plastic carry bag market

  • The extinction of plants, animals and various natural sources of food.
  • The rising concern of environmental problems on the earth.
  • The toxicity level of pollution in the air is lowering the natural means of food and also causing harm to humans.
  • Various NGOs and GoI support marketing the use of biodegradable plastic bags to avoid any further harm to the environment boosting its market.
  • All the industries related to FMCG are advised, and even it is a regulation by the government to follow this packaging and the decided standard strictly Overall, the biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing industry is a huge business. Its market is distributed in -
  • Horticulture
  • Packaging
  • Textiles
  • Automotive
  • construction
  • consumer goods
  • Medical
  • Others

A few newly introduced industries are -

  • adult incontinence products;
  • diaper industry; and
  • landfill covers.

Salient features of setting up a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing plant

  • Before starting manufacturing, it is essential to create a comprehensive business plan. This plan must include a detailed budget, an analysis of the market and a marketing strategy.
  • It is also essential to identify potential opportunities and research the competition.
  • A thorough understanding of the industry's pricing structure and competitive landscape is also essential.
  • Additionally, you must understand the manufacturing process of biodegradable plastic bags and hire skilled professionals to work on the same.

Overview of the biodegradable plastic bags manufacturing process

  • i. The process of manufacturing biodegradable plastic bags starts with selecting raw materials.
  • ii. These materials must be blended and processed together to produce a plastic-like material.
  • iii. The material is then extruded and heated to form the plastic bags.
  • iv. The bags are cut, sealed, and printed with designs or logos.
  • v. Finally, the bags are packaged and ready for sale.

The entire process needs specialised tools and expertise. It is essential to research the necessary devices and gurantee they are suitable for the type of plastic bag being manufactured.

Products you can manufacture from biodegradable plastic

With the necessary machinery, tools and equipment, you can manufacture various products to sell in the market. You can manufacture small carry bags for groceries and shops and large plastic bags for hotels, restaurants, malls, etc. Some of the other products are:

  • Biodegradable bags for food storage
  • Customised bags for events
  • Biodegradable bags for trash
  • Biodegradable bags for grocery
  • Biodegradable bags for packaging

Machines needed in Biodegradable plastic bags manufacturing plant

(a) Extrusion Machine

It is used to shape the film using compostable granules. Usually, one set of extruders and two machine heads are used to blow HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic films. The plastic films are moulded into flat and vest bags and used in the textile and food industries for packaging.

(b) Sealing and Cutting Machine

It seals or cuts the biodegradable plastic bag according to the required design and size.

(c) Printing Machine

It is used to print the company logo, name and choose the colour. Hence this machine plays a vital role in promoting your brand.

Biodegradable plastic carry bag manufacturing process

The biodegradable plastic bags manufacturing process proceeds as follows:

Raw Material Preparation

The granules are cleaned and processed to remove impurities. They are then dried & ground into a fine powder.


The powder is blended with a binding agent and other additives to form a dough-like mixture. This mixture is then fed into an extruder, which heats, melts, and pushes it through a die to create a continuous film.


The film is then passed through a calendar, which soothes and cools it. This gives it a uniform thickness and surface.

Cutting and Bagging

The film is then cut into desired sizes and shaped into bags. They are then packed and sealed in biodegradable bags.

Quality Control

The bags are subjected to various quality control tests to ensure they meet the desired specifications and standards.

Marketing for biodegradable plastic carry bags

You can directly market your biodegradable plastic bags to grocery stores, local shops, supermarkets, etc. If you know the benefits of these bags over single-use plastic bags in terms of environment and price, you can easily acquire a position in the market. You must easily target -

  • Grocery store
  • Departmental store
  • Supermarket
  • Boutique
  • Fast food restaurants

No wonder manufacturing biodegradable plastic bags is a profitable venture. The process needs raw materials, specialised equipment and expertise. Additionally, it is essential to understand the applicable regulations and certifications, create a comprehensive business plan and finance well. With the proper knowledge and resources, setting up a biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing business in India can lead to immense success.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!

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