With our oceans overflowing with waste, many of us do our best to recycle. But what if we didn’t have to? What if packaging could be biodegradable, or even edible? Well, thanks to startup company Evoware, this could be the future.
The company has created a new kind of packaging material from seaweed. It is totally biodegradable and edible. Just imagine buying a burger wrapped in paper and simply wolfing down the paper with your meal. Maybe it could even be given a complimentary ketchup flavor? Mmmm delicious. If that doesn’t sound too appealing, you can simply chuck it on the compost, guilt-free.
The product can also dissolve in hot water, meaning you could drop a packet of sugar into your coffee without needing to dispose of the wrapper. It’s even healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and also halal.
Ong Tek Tjan, a food and drink retailer in Jakarta, Indonesia, sells ice cream in Evoware’s special biodegradable cups that can be eaten. They taste like jello and come in a variety of flavors, from mint to green tea.
“I too support this environment-friendly cause,” he told Reuters.
Evoware’s innovative new products don’t just cover food either, they can be used to package things like sanitary towels, soap, and even toothpicks.
Tackling the problem of plastics is one of the biggest challenges we currently face. They’re polluting our oceans, harming animals, and even affecting the world’s deepest living sea creatures. It’s clear that the way we use and dispose of plastics urgently needs to change.
This is what inspired Evoware. "I saw how much plastic waste is produced here, which takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade and contaminates everything," Evoware co-founder David Christian told Reuters.
Based in Indonesia, the second biggest contributor to ocean plastics, Evoware decided to take action. Each year, 8 million tonnes (8.8 million tons) make their way into our oceans, a vast amount of which is from food packaging. By 2050, there will be more plastic bobbing through our seas than fish.
Not only is Evoware attempting to solve the issue of waste, it also aims to help out seaweed farmers who are often very poor, affected by long marketing chains and loan sharks. What’s more, they often produce more seaweed than there is demand for. Enter seaweed-based packaging.
“Our mission is to create innovative solutions from seaweed to solve [the] plastic waste issue, while increasing the livelihood of Indonesia’s seaweed farmers,” Evoware wrote on their website.
Various other companies are taking similar steps, but at present, cost is an issue. Nevertheless, let’s hope that in future, these products can hit the global market, as time to reverse our waste problem is quickly running out.