Ten years ago, we will never imagine about a plastic bag that is safe to be thrown to the garbage disposal (or even the ground), much less one that is edible. Avani Eco made that happen only a few years ago. And now they aim to replace the plastic waste of Bali with their plant based innovations.
Plastic is the most used material in our everyday lives. It’s practically everywhere, from the most simple like grocery bags to the mixture of industrial level things such as the body of a boat. This not only show how easy it is to mass produce them, but also how they overload as waste - especially the smaller ones. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental issue nearly everywhere in the world, including the ocean. That’s where eco friendly industries like Avani Eco came into the picture.
Calling themselves a “green tech social enterprise”, Avani took Bali by storm when a video of its co-founder Kevin Kumala went insanely viral a couple of years ago. You know which one, it’s where Kevin tore one of his ‘not plastic’ bags, drop the pieces into a glass of water, then began to stir it. The material began to dissolve, which Kevin followed with the sensational final act: drinking the blend solution. The bag is revealed to be made from a plant based material [cassava to be exact], making it not only friendly for the environment, but completely safe to be consumed as well.
But that’s not all. Avani developed many products for our everyday, from food packaging and cutleries, straws, even raincoat ponchos. Most are manufactured from materials based from plants, so should they are thrown away, it will degrade easily or decompose into the ground. Innovative things such as compostable paper cups, straws and bowls, made from sustainably managed forest and layered with bioplastic made from corn starch. Or the ultimate replacement for styrofoam takeaway food packaging, which is made from bagasse [dry fibrous residue of sugarcane production]. The bioplastic is also a deconstructed form for plastic, where they make clear plastic cups, drinking straws and cutleries from polylatic acid or cornstarch. There’s also the wooden cutleries made from birchwood and the poncho made of the mix of corn soy and sunflower seed - making them completely compostable. So it’s natural that their products are starting to be used throughout the island - especially with many environment aware restaurants and cafes sprouting here and there. Most notable are the cassava ‘non-plastic’ bag and the bioplastic straw which proudly states on the side with large prints, “I am not plastic.”
Now the video may look like a publicity stunt at first, and what better way to sell your product than to show its fruitfulness to the extreme, right? But the real message was also very clear, that Avani is here to be part of the solution to the underlying ecological problem that have infested most parts of the world. We need to rewrite our opening sentence. Plastic is the biggest contributor in world pollution - but at least there are companies like Avani that tries to change that, that tries to save us human beings who are too dependant on processed products, from gradually dying from plastic infestation.