This plastic bag is edible, compostable, even drinkable

This plastic bag is edible, compostable, even drinkable

This company from Bali chose to address plastic pollution through better design, rather than waiting for a behavioral shift in consumers.

Think of Bali and images of pristine, palm tree-lined beaches likely come to mind. Unfortunately, reality is different. Those beaches are no longer pristine; they’re strewn with garbage, most of it plastic that comes either from Bali’s newly commercialized way of life, or from ocean currents that generously deliver foreign trash.

Environmentalists (myself included) talk about needing to change habits, encourage reusables, implement better recycling facilities, and figure out ways of upcycling trash, but these sorts of major lifestyle shifts take a long time. A company in Bali called Avani thinks we can’t waste any more time trying to convince people to act differently; instead, we should try to meet people where they’re at, by designing a better product that does not require a significant behavioral shift.

Avani has come up with a line of fully biodegradable food products, including takeaway containers, cutlery, straws, and coffee cups, as well as grocery bags and rain ponchos; but it’s the grocery bags that most interest me, since they’re one of the worst culprits when it comes to plastic pollution. More than one million plastic bags are used worldwide each minute and these require hundreds of years to break down, which really means just breaking up into miniscule pieces that will eventually be eaten by animals. In fact, an estimated one million animals die each year from eating plastic bags.

Avani’s bags are made from cassava root starch and other natural resins, using no petroleum products. They biodegrade fully within 3 to 6 months, depending on soil conditions, converting naturally into carbon dioxide and biomass, with no toxic residue. This process can be hurried by dissolving in hot water, softening in cold water, and burning to leave a small amount of ash.

The bags are safe for insects and animals to eat, both terrestrial and marine, and apparently they’re tasty, too, as seen in this video of crayfish and chickens fighting over the edible bags. When dissolved in hot water, Avani claims they’re even safe for humans to drink.

The bag is an intriguing concept, and obviously a much better option than the non-biodegradable plastics currently in use. I am uncomfortable, however, with Avani’s statement that users “can discard them with a clear conscience.” Despite the company’s innovation, I still maintain that a shift away from disposablesdesperately needs to happen, and I wouldn’t want a sense of complacency to impede that. It’s best to leave no trace at all, whether biodegradable in six months’ time or not.

Source: Tree Hugger

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Dilek Bil spent 33 years in both corporate and entrepreneurial ventures.

Worked 10 years in banking for American Express Bank, BNP-Ak-Dresdner Bank and Société Générale. Her years in financial industry were mostly concentrated on introducing new and innovative financial instruments to help grow volume of trade finance, especially for food and  agricultural products to catalyze  a shared value economy.

Co-founded Kangaroo İletişim in 1994, a brand strategy and advertising agency, worked with international brands such as Volvo, VW and Garanti. End of 2011, spun-off advertising and re-structured her business as  a sustainability consultancy and communications agency. She currently advises companies in creating, defining, building, measuring more purposeful businesses, strategies, brands and compelling communications.

Dilek Bil also serves on the Board of Akmerkez Gayrimenkul Yatirim Ortakligi AS., where she leads the ‘Risk’ and ‘Corporate Governance’ committees.

Dilek Bil created and anchored a weekly TV show on Cnbc-e, named  “Sürsün Bu Dünya”. She interviewed more than 40 opinion leaders  -corporate CEO’s, policy makers, academicians, NGO presidents-  to encourage and show them a new direction of  a sustainable economic model with market opportunities and profitabilty.

Dilek Bil is among inspirational leaders in women empowerment and sustainability, in pursing her task, she also presents at conferences  as well as to students.

Dilek Bil has been actively working in civil society:

Recipient of the “2017 Women of the Decade in Media and Social Change” award by the Women Economic Forum.

Honorary board member and former president of KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey).

Founding member and the Vice-President of FODER (Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association of Turkey).

Member of the board of trustees WWF-Turkey.

Member of the Strategic Advisory Group for International Council on Women’s Business Leadership.

Former board member of Turkish-British Business Council of DEIK.

Works closely with many civil society organizations: UNSDSN
German Bioeconomy Council, ALL Ladies League

Dilek Bil is an amateur in gastronomy and oenology.

Board member of Accademia Italiana della Cucina.

Founding member of 28-year-old Wine Association of Turkey,

Dilek Bil graduated from Northport High School-New York and has a BA degree from University of North Texas U.S.A., married and has a son.