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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Engineer creates strong paper bags that can hold damp, 10 kilo items

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An Indian mechanical engineer used newspaper to create a really strong bag.  Businesses now want Dhananjay Hegde to commercialise his bag.

The bag, created by Dhananjay from Karnataka,  can carry heavy items, do not leak, and can easily hold damp items without clogging it. The retired mechanical engineer says businesses have contacted him to commercialise the bags that can hold up to 10 kilos of weight. The bags cost over Rs 1.5lakh for the first time. Dhananjay has also developed a machine for  commercialization of the bag.

Many of us are moving away from using plastic bags in favor of cloth or paper bags. But, these eco-friendly options have a disadvantage. They are inconvenient to use while transporting fish, milk packets, and other wet things. Dhananjay was also confronted with a similar issue.

According to him, the state outlawed plastic bags in 2016, and many businesses chose for alternatives, including switching to non-woven bags. However, these bags are constructed of polypropylene and polyester, both types of plastic, and are sold under the guise of being eco-friendly.

According to Dhananjay, another strange issue he saw following the prohibition was that fish and meat vendors continued to use plastic bags.

This led Dhananjay to devise bags made of newspaper using innovative stitching techniques and maize powder that can handle up to 10 kilos of weight, do not leak, and can readily hold meat and other damp objects without clogging.

Dhananjay says in order to create a robust and long-lasting bag, he used scrap newspapers and added stitches with fibre from the banana plant to strengthen a double sheet paper.  He goes on to say that he eventually opted to double the stitching inside the first at a 1 cm gap. The increased strength allowed the bag to handle weights ranging from 5 to 10 kg. However, it could not transport goods with damp surfaces. When he attempted, the paper clogged when it came into contact with liquid substances, according to Dhananjay.

He then decided to add an extra layer of protection to the bag and found that maize resin or gum could be used as a coating to waterproof the paper bags.

He added a layer of white paper to protect the corn starch layer and food from hazardous compounds found in newspapers.

Dhananjay enlisted the help of his friend Dattatreya Bhatt to create a prototype mechanism that can roll out several bags in order to commercialise the bags.

Dhananjay says he has been approached by 35 companies who want him to commercialize the bags.

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