Innovation That Matters

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Plant-based single-use bags that dissolve in water


The cassava bags are sustainable, non-toxic, use no petroleum products, and support a circular economy

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Spotted: By now, most people are familiar with the problems presented by single-use plastic bags. Each one is used on average for just 15 minutes, then sent to landfill, where it spends the next few hundred years. In addition, they are made from petroleum products, contributing to CO2 emissions. Yet, despite increasing regulation and even bans, they are still widely used, largely because of their utility.

An Australian company may have now come up with a solution that retains the benefits of the plastic bag without the plastic. Cassava Bags Australia makes biodegradable bags and film derived from cassava, a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato. The company uses cassava starch to make bags and film, which easily decompose into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass.

The cassava bags function just like single-use plastic, but are safe for the environment. According to the company, the bags are 100 per cent non-toxic, meet stringent international standards for compostability, will not release microplastics, and won’t cause harm if they end up in the water.

Cassava Bags won Bupa’s eco-Disruptive competition in 2022, receiving a prize of $AUD350,000 (around €219,000). Cassava Bags is also partnered with Australia’s largest packaging distributor, Bee Dee Bags.

Eliminating single-use plastics is a high-priority goal, but is proving easier said than done. Despite measures such as outright bans and per bag charges, single-use plastic is still very commonly used for packaging. However, Springwise has spotted many innovations in the archive, such as stronger compostable paper packaging and packaging made from seaweed.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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