Plastic bags are a great contribution to pollution and there are constant efforts to make it more environment-friendly. You can find recyclable and biodegradable takeaway bags today, no doubt about that. But what if you can get bags so eco-friendly that you can compost and even drink it?
Bali is a great tourist attraction for Indonesians and people all over the world, but trash problems (mainly plastic) become a negative effect. Every day, there’s estimated 1.5 kg of trash disposed from every hotel on the island. The waste management is bad, and since Indonesia is one of the largest marine plastic polluter in the world, this makes matters even worse.
Furthermore, as a developing country, Indonesians frequently use disposable and less green products because they’re cheaper. You’ll find a lot of styrofoam takeaway boxes, plastic bags, and plastic straws in this country. This leads to more waste and pollution.
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Bright early morning is no longer an indicator of how the day is going to progress. Get yourself prepared to go through your day with Avani's customizable compostable bio-poncho made from corn, soy and sunflower seeds because you don't know when it's going to pour ⛈️. Certified OK Compost – meaning after you're done wearing it, you can convert the poncho into compost for our Mother Nature 🤙💚 📸: @jelajahbiru . #iamnotplastic #AvaniEco #sustainability #indonesiahijau #compostable #saynotoplastic #plasticfree #instanature #instatravel #savetheplanet #savetheenvironment #ethicalfashion #greenfashion #sustainablefashion #responsiblefashion #travelwithrespect #travelindonesia #responsibletourism #indonesiaku #indotravellers #enjoyindonesia #thisisindonesia #hellonusantara
So, a company called Avani was inspired to come up with a great green technology. They replace disposable items such as coffee cups, food boxes, and cutlery with the affordable, biodegradable ones. However, the most striking and innovative product would be the bags. Not only does it biodegrade, the bags are edible and safe for animals as well as dissolvable in water.
At a first glance, you won’t notice that Avani bags aren’t made of plastic. They even feel, look, and perform like your usual petroleum-based bags. The bags are made from 100% bio-based material like cassava, and the printing uses eco-friendly ink. Moreover, they can be recycled with paper.
You can also add it to your compost pile. These bags only need 90 days to fully decompose, roughly the same time as shredded and soaked cardboard. But what’s great about the bags is that even when it ends up in the waters or some places on land, the animals can still safely eat it. So even when turtles mistake these bags as jellyfish, they remain unharmed.
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Our cassava starch bioplastic is also good for veggie wraps for up to 24 hours storage time. Wondering when the big supermarket chain will adopt this in order to strive for a plasticless world? 🤔 . Kantong bio-plastik kami yang terbuat dari pati singkong juga baik digunakan untuk membungkus sayuran hingga 24 jam waktu penyimpanan. Kapan ya supermarket” bisa mengaplikasikan kantong ini demi mengurangi konsumsi plastik dunia? 🤔 . . . . #avanieco #saynotoplastic #savetheenvironment #cleanseas #clearocean #zerowaste #sustainability #byebyeplasticbags #indonesiahijau #jktbebassampah #gogreen #cassavabag #compostable #biodegradable #seasoldier #indonesiaberkarya #beliyangbaik #green #greenbali #plasticfree #plasticbagfree #nomoreplastic #greenliving #organic #organicvegetables #organicshop #verde #vaverde #sustainable #ecoconscious
To show that the bags are completely safe for animal and human consumption, Avani founder put a piece of the bag inside a glass of water. He stirs it around and it dissolves easily. After that, he drinks the bag water casually and all is fine.
(Read also: Edible, plastic-like straws to save Mother Earth)
Avani aims to provide Bali locals and tourists less hazardous products, especially when it comes to food and drink. Sure, there are food-grade plastic out there, but it’ll be a lot better to drink or eat something from all natural containers. With these alternatives, little chemicals and unwanted substances won’t get into your system at all.
Avani was founded in 2014. Kevin Kumala, the co-founder, has a background in biology, medicine, and business management. Together with Daniel Rosenqvist, they want to solve worldwide problem of plastic waste. It started from the heart of Indonesia’s tourism, Bali island, and they’ve been manufacturing their bio products there.
As they want to create sustainable, recyclable packaging globally, they want to expand their products to different parts of the world. The good thing is, they’ve partnered with the United Arab Emirates.
Kumala said, “Our bags provide a total solution to bag waste around the globe. Today signifies the next step in our journey and the opportunity to provide a unique solution to supporting a plastic-bag-free UAE.”
Avani Eco Middle East rep added, “As part of our launch, we will also introduce the full portfolio of Avani eco-friendly products including sugarcane-fibre-based houseware, cornstarch straws, paper and cornstarch coffee cups and wooden cutlery,”
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Plastic cutlery is one of the commonly found items when we do our clean ups. With that frustration in mind, move over plastic cutlery and roll out the red carpet for these biodegradable, FDA-approved wooden cutlery made from FSC Birchwood. Simple solution for a greener Earth💚🌱♻️ . #iamnotplastic #avanieco #indonesiahijau #sustainability #beliyangbaik #balicafe #cleanseas #clearocean #zerowaste #biodegradable #sustainable #wood #saynotoplastic #plasticfree #savetheenvironment #savetheplanet
We have already started to engage with retail, hospitality, hotels and restaurants here to showcase our products and the added value they provide, not only for clients, but also for the end consumer and future sustainability of the UAE.”
Even though there’s only one known partner of this company, Avani bags may bring us a few steps closer to live in a free-plastic world. If bio bags are still not available around you and you can only find the semi-biodegradable ones, it’s better to not be complacent about it.
Semi-biodegradable bags don’t break down completely. Instead, it disintegrates into microscopic pieces, which can be harmful to us humans as well as animals. There are recent studies suggesting that miniscule plastic pieces are starting to enter human food chains. To save mother Earth and ourselves, we should stop using plastic altogether.
Make your own bio bags
There are alternatives that you can choose over plastics like edible straws and bags from your old t-shirt. But if you want to get crafty or you’re just curious and inquisitive, you can make your own bio bag! It’s just as biodegradable, compostable, and dissolvable in water (although it takes a bit longer than Avani’s). Clara Davis has a nice recipe and shape for the bags, so I’ll just share it here.
For equipment, you need a large acrylic board (preferably 70 x 45 cm), 3 glasses, one measuring glass, scale for ml and g, 3-liter pan, a spatula, and a stove. Your ingredients are water, gelatin, glycerin or glycerol, and food coloring if you want your bag colored.
First of all, mix water and gelatin powder in the pan. Once you see that the mixture becomes a granular, pale paste, turn on the heat and stir slowly to get rid of lumps. When the mixture turns liquid, add glycerin. Keep stirring until it boils and remove any bubbles before you pour it onto the acrylic board (if you want to color it, add the food colorant before pouring).
Then, spread and flatten your mixture evenly. Once it’s done, wait for the mixture to dry at least 5 days. The drying time actually depends on thickness, temperature, and humidity. So it can dry quickly or slowly. But you don’t want to take it out too soon, otherwise your bio bag sheet will deform. Therefore, it’s safer to wait for 5 days or longer.
Once it’s dry, laser cut the sheet(if you don’t have laser cutter, you can also to draw the shape by yourself and cut it manually). Assemble it well, and you’ve just made your own biobag! You can also try different recipe from cornstarch like the one in the video here, too.
Do you think we can replace plastic bags soon? Or do you think it’s gonna take longer? Tell us what you think in the comments below. If you like other innovative and eco-friendly products, check out our other article about the awesome pollution-based ink.