The outbreak of coronavirus has taught us something very interesting: that nature would indeed be better off without human intervention. The dolphins returning to Cox’s Bazar waters and the ozone layer starting to heal have proved this. One of the worst forms of harm that humans bring to nature is plastic pollution. Despite continuous talks about how to control this issue, Bangladesh has seen little change over the years. A team from BUET took matters in their own hands and started working on the solution. Turns out that one of the main reasons for clogging of drains in Dhaka city is the massive dumping of single use plastic. After working for several months, they designed an eco-friendly packaging: Ecopac
Ecopac is not only biodegradable but also it turns into fertilizer once it decomposes. In technical terms, it is “compostable”, so not only is it reducing plastic pollution but also enabling more greenery.
Currently, a group of BUET students have reached out to Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) for a partnership to prepare trial pieces of Ecopac. They are a passionate group of four Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering students of the second year at BUET, namely, Sabrina Binte Salam, Aninda Kumar Chowdhury, Shahid Abubakar Abtahee and Md. Irtesam Nasrat. Aninda says, “Plastic pollution has reached the depth beyond our eyes, from drainage clogging to water congestion, from staggering landfill to polluting the air. With the idea of Ecopac, we can replace this toxic element by an eco-friendly daily product.”
For their pilot project, they intend to approach the superstores in Dhaka city since they are significantly responsible for the total plastic dumping in landfills. Sabrina says, “We tend to launch Ecopac at a cheaper price than the existing carry bags. From the customer feedback we get, we would like to go for mass production very soon.” In the future, they plan to capture more markets that uses single-use plastics. Companies like SQL Engineers have already started showing interest in using compostable packaging material in their projects.
“We’re hearing about plastic banning from our very childhood. But that couldn’t be made in reality and so by utilizing our expertise in this arena, we’ve dedicated ourselves to find a sustainable solution to get rid of this never-lasting problem”, says Abtahee, another dedicated member of the team. These young minds believe that their product will contribute to reducing carbon footprint on a large scale. They have been working on this for quite a time and hope to launch the product very soon. Another recent update about this team is that they have been announced Champion of HULT Prize at BUET on 23 January 2020. To know more about their project visit their Facebook page