For sustainable society


Water dissolvable plastic bags!

In order to reduce plastic waste, stores are obliged to charge users who use plastic bags in Japan. Major three convenience store companies reduced the used of plastic bags by 70%. Just by at looking at this fact, it is obvious that plastics bags are no longer a necessity. However, there are times when a plastic bag does become necessary. Therefore, why not invent an eco-friendly plastic bag?

Hong Kong based startup Distinctive Action has designed ‘‘#INVISIBLEBAG’’. 
An affordable, eco-friendly bag which resembles your usual plastic bag which dissolves in water. If the bag itself is dissolvable, if something wet is put inside the bag, the bag will melt. To dissolve the bag the water temperature has to be at least 70°C. But what makes the bag dissolve? How does it dissolve? The answer to these questions is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). It is often used as the main ingredient for laundering, and plant-based starch, therefore can be dissolved in hot water. 

#INVISIBLEBAG can also be disposed without dissolving it in water. If the industrial composting conditions are between 50°C~60°C, more than 90% would be composted within 180 days, but if composting in home conditions with the room temperature between 25°C~30°C it will take a long time, but eventually will compost. 

#INVISIBLEBAG is a dream-like plastic bag that dissolved in water and can be composted, but the question is ‘‘is it really as safe for humans and the environment as we think it is?’’. Recently many alternative plastic products have been sold as a measure to fight ocean pollution, but was later reported that there are some alternative plastic products that increase the environmental load, and it is no wonder why some people become skeptical and question new anti-plastic inventions. #INVISIBLEBAG was tested by a third-party biotechnology lab – Vitargent, for the safety of the bag towards humans and the environment. Two certificates including ASTM D6400 (North American Standard) and EN13432 (European Standard) were obtained when checking for the safety of the product. The safety was approved, and GreenPla mark from the Japan Bioplastics Association of Japan was received. 

The fact that plastic is low cost and convenient in our lives is undeniable. However, switching from all plastics used in a variety of applications to alternative plastics is not easy. It might be difficult, but small actions like purchasing ‘‘My Bottle’’ and wearing clothes and shoes that are made from recycled PET bottles can make a big impact on the environment as well as the society. 

Photo:Distinctive Action

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