Every minute, over one million plastic bags are used in our world, and only about 1 out of 200 of these bags is recycled. The rest continues to threaten our oceans, nature and animals.
Two Indonesian social entrepreneurs who set out with the aim of stopping plastic pollution caused by plastic bags and packaging, founded their company named Avani in 2014. Using ecoinnovasion and technology, they succeeded in producing bioplastic bags made out of a root plant called cassava, a plant commonly grown in tropical areas.
The bioplastic cassava bags:
#1 have the same appearance as plastic bags
#2 are as durable as plastic bags
#3 are 100% biodegradable
#4 contain 0% petroleum derived materials
#5 leave no toxic substance behind them
Besides, because cassava bags have a plant based structure, even when animals eat these bags, it doesn’t have any harm to their health. So much so that one of the company’s founders, Kevin Kumala, cuts a piece from the cassava bag, allows it to dissolve in hot water and drinks it to prove that there is no harm in consuming it!
In addition to bioplastic bags, the Avani company also produces laundary bags, spoons, knifes, straws, portable coffee cups, bowls, ponchos, and takeaway boxes. All products are produced from renewable sources such as wood, sugar cane, corn starch and cassava in sustainable ways.
Although bioplastic seems to be an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic, some segments are more skeptical towards them. For instance, Heidi Savelli, who works for the United Nations Environment Program, argues that some bioplastics do not dissolve 100% in nature, so we should rather focus our time and energy on waste management of plastics. On the other hand, Kumana, one of Avani’s founders, believes that ecoinnovation for alternative solutions that will eliminate plastic from our lives should be supported under all circumstances.