Biodegradable, Eco-friendly Palmyra Leaf Bags for Mangrove Nursery - Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India

Published: 19 December 2022
Last edited: 08 August 2023
remove_red_eye 1919 Views


Thanjvaur District Collector initiated an ecofriendly mangrove nursery along with District Forest Office of Thanjavur Division. OMCAR received financial support from District Collector of Thanjavur and District Forest Office of Thanjavur Division to set up a mangrove nursery to grow 13000 mangrove seedlings of Avicennia marina and Rhizophora mucronata. It is a participatory mangrove restoration, including local fishermen and women, which gives responsibility to local community as well. It has been in practice that only plastic bags have been used in all nurseries in Tamil Nadu. Thus, thousands of plastic bags are being thrown out into the plantation sites, creating additional pollution all over the world. As a solution to this issue, the District Collector Office of Thanjavur along with District Forest Office of Thanjavur Division and OMCAR Foundation developed biodegradable, low cost, eco-friendly bags, which are successfully tested for mangrove nurseries in Thanjavur District.  


South Asia
Scale of implementation
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Disaster risk reduction
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Conservation Planning
Ocean warming and acidification
Sea level rise


Keezhathottam, Rajamadam, Pattukkottai, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India


Environmental Impacts

Using Palmyra leaves for nursery bags to restore mangroves can be replicated.  So, this would avoid large scale use of plastics in mangrove nurseries.  This project will also help to icrease the Palmyra tree plantation, that will also give more protection against coastal soil erosion.  Further cutting of Palmyra trees will be prevented as its byproducts (nursery bags) will be used as an alternative to plastic bags.  The palmyra nursery bags are easily degradable, so it can be buried along with the mangrove seedlings, which will enrich the nutrients in the soil. 


Economic Impacts 
Local community can have regular income by making ecofriendly nursery bags.   Palmyra leaves are available plenty, and the project uses only the matured leaves, so there is no need to purchase and transport the raw materials (palmyra leaves) for bag making.  


Social Impacts

The palmyra nursery bags can be highlighted by local, state and central government in near future, replacing plastic nursery bags.  This will create awareness to reduce the use of plastic bags in the nurseries of mangroves and other terrestrial species.  Thus, the socially accepted locally available alternative methods will be the permenent solution to prevent the use of plastic bags in tree nurseries.  



Contributed by's picture

Balaji Vedharajan OMCAR Foundation