The Indonesian start-up company Evoware has come up with a new series of products for this difficult fight
Plastic packaging waste is a big problem in Indonesia as 90% of it ends up in the ocean, setting the country as the worldâ€™s second (only to China) largest ocean plastic waste polluter. The Indonesian start up Evoware attempts to eliminate the phenomenon, by introducing biodegreadable packaging. Made of seaweed, a marine algae that grows without fertilizers or any other resources and consumes CO2 while growing, the companyâ€™s product can be used for the production of small-format food sachets and wraps, e.g. instant noodle seasoning, cereal, single serving coffee powder and assorted complements, rice wrap, burger wrap, etc. The patented material is tested for food safety, dissolves in hot water and can even be eaten as it contains no chemicals; in fact, it is high in fiber and vitamins. â€œWe want to create a cleaner world by stopping plastic waste from the rootâ€, says David Christian, chief of sustainability and co-founder of Evoware. One challenge, Christian says, is that despite the abundance of plastic waste, Indonesians donâ€™t yet recognize a need to solve the problem. â€œThe awareness, understanding, and sense of urgency to minimize the use of single-use plastic is still very low,â€ he says. â€œThis makes our bioplastic seems irrelevant and â€˜unnecessary.'â€ The seaweed-based packaging is more expensive to produce than plastic, though costs will come down as the company moves from pilot production to full-scale manufacturing.
Apart from the environmental aspect, Evowareâ€™s activity also has a positive impact on the livelihood of the seaweed farmers, who currently produce more than they can sell, and struggle to make a living, as it can treat the large volume of production which is not absorbed and is wasted. The company is one of six winners of the $1 million Circular Design Challenge, a contest run by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Openideo that focused on finding solutions for the plastic packaging items that are too small or complex to normally get recycled. Learn more about the project in the video below.
The productâ€™s pros
Food-based packaging, uses natural and halal materials
Dissolves in hot water (ideal for instant coffee or to replace the tiny plastic sachets filled with seasoning in instant noodles)
High in fiber, vitamins and minerals
Has 2 years of shelf-life without any preservatives
Biodegradable & can become fertilizer
Printable and heat sealable
Customized for taste, color and brand logo