Experiment on use of eco-friendly Palmyra nursery bag for mangrove restoration in Palk Bay, India

Mangrove restoration drives are carried out in several regions across the Indian coast. However, the establishment of mangrove nurseries using plastic bags to plant seedlings results in a large amount of plastic waste at the end of each plantation drive. In this study, hand-woven Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer, Arecaceae) bags were used as a replacement for plastic bags to grow seedlings. The analysis from the study revealed that palmyra bags were able to withstand water inundation conditions similar to those of mangrove tidal flats for a maximum of 6 months, beyond which they disintegrated. The mangrove seedlings showed good growth similar to that in plastic bags, but the roots were well spread in Palmyra bags compared to plastic bags. During plantation, the seedling along with the bag can be planted as the bags are biodegradable, which is an advantage over plastic bags that need removal. It also provided an alternative source of livelihood for the local fishermen’s community, which prepared the palmyra bags. The conclusion from the study reveals that Palmyra bags prove to be an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags in reforestation programmes.

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