Leather industrialists in Kanpur have found a new way to convert leather and chrome sludge into eco-friendly, bio-degradable plastics. The proper disposal of chromium sludge has remained a major challenge before the pollution control board and the leather industrialists, as it has been claimed to be responsible for polluting the Ganga for decades.
Super Tannery MD Mohd Imran said his firm had tied up with a Hungarian company, Greenovet KFT, which would help to convert leather pieces into polymers. “This plastic would be around 40 per cent cheaper than the other plastics apart from being bio-degradable. This initiative once experimented successfully, is expected to lend a safe and utilitarian alternative to usual disposal of tannery waste,” he added. According to Imran, the filtered waste leather bits would be further ground to form fine powder, which would then be amalgamated with a special chemical to finish the effect of chromium.
“The obtained blend would then be fused with a special adhesive to enable polymerisation for the final product. This plastic can be moulded into sheets and other shapes like any other thermoplastic,” he explained.