Innovation That Matters

Edible, biodegradable bags help replace plastic waste


India’s EnviGreen company created a process for producing ‘plastic’ bags made from edible, organic food products that can biodegrade in less than a day.

Searching for an environmentally-friendly replacement for the ubiquitous plastic bags used in retail around the world, EnviGreen’s founder spent four years working on a solution. Using a combination of 12 ingredients that include bananas, flower oil, tapioca and corn, Envigreen bags are organic, edible and naturally biodegradable. Left alone, the bags decompose in about three months. Using water, they can be disposed of in a day or even seconds if using boiling water.

Production has started in Bangalore, and the company plans to expand into other cities before beginning distribution to smaller business owners. The bags are currently being used by several large retail chains in India, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. EnviGreen’s sustainable approach includes working with local farmers to source raw materials.

With more than one million plastic bags used every minute, there is a long way to go to substantially reduce plastic waste. Luckily, projects around the world are finding ways to make a difference, from boots and bags made from recycled plastic gathered in Haiti to a micro-library made from upcycled plastic ice cream buckets. What other common products that end up as waste could be replaced with an organic version?



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