These Biodegradable ‘Plastic’ Bags Are Made From Tapioca and Potatoes

These Biodegradable ‘Plastic’ Bags Are Made From Tapioca and Potatoes

While it may sound like an unappetizing pudding recipe, these 100% edible bags made from tapioca, potatoes and other organic materials are one solution to our world’s plastic epidemic.

Because the bags are made of natural and biodegradable materials, they can dissolve in water or naturally break down in the soil without harming the environment. And since they’re completely edible, the bags will not kill any animals who might accidentally mistake them for food.

The biodegradable bags, which look just like plastic, were developed by a Qatar-based entrepreneur named Ashwath Hegde. They are manufactured by EnviGreen, a company founded by Hegde.

Photo: The Better India

Photo: The Better India

The company uses twelve ingredients to make the bag, including potato, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana, and flower oil. According to EnviGreen’s website, the bag naturally biodegrades in less than 180 days.

Hegde designed these bags as an alternative to one-time use plastic bags — and with good reason. Plastic bags are causing environmental problems all over the world. Because plastic can not naturally decompose, the toxic chemicals remain on our earth forever; clogging our oceans with plastic and killing animals.

100,000 marine animals die every year due to getting entangled in plastic. And scientists estimate that 5 trillion pieces of plastic are currently floating in our oceans, covering the ocean surface with piles of hazardous waste.

To fight against our toxic plastic problem, countries and cities across the world are banning the sale of plastic bags. Just last month, voters in California passed a proposition calling for the first statewide plastic bag ban in the US. This ban followed in the footsteps of many US cities which have already adopted a plastic bag ban.

In India, several states and cities have also banned plastic. In an article from The Better India, Hegde said that he hopes his environmentally friendly bags will provide an alternative to people in India who might not be able to afford cloth bags to carry their groceries.

According to Hegde, the bags cost less money to manufacture than cloth bags, and only slightly more than plastic. Times of India reports Hegde is aiming to start bringing the bags to stores in India starting January 2017.


Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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  1. SUE

    it does sound very interesting but it does not say anything about pricing of the bags and who will eat up the cost of the bags. will a person shopping in a store have to purchase the bay and can it be reused how many times. How durable is it like at the Wal-Mart’s the blue bags they have are wonderful I don’t know what they are made of but they are very durable you can even wash them and hang them out to dry is what I do and reuse them. now you have to purchase things from Walmart so they are not free but they are worth it and all these has bags to that are just as great you buy them and you can use them just about forever no plastic

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    • Graham

      Yes it does mention pricing is just a little more than plastic, but does that matter to the 100,000 creatures killed per year by plastic bags?
      What do you mean by ending with “no plastics”.

      Reply Report comment
  2. Linda

    This is wonderful news. Finally. Thank you so much for inventing these! Please bring them to Canada as quickly as you can!

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  3. Bonnie Knight

    These bags sound wonderful! I hope they come to San Francisco, California. I do use cloth shopping bags when I think ahead, but it would be terrific to have a biodegradable plastic both for shopping in the rain and shopping at a store when I do not have my cloth bags with me.

    Re the commenter praising Walmart bags, I would never shop at Walmart. To quote the Corporate Research Project, Walmart has “been at the center of controversies over its low wages, overtime pay abuses, meager employee benefits, gender discrimination, negative impact on small business, immense dealings with China, tax avoidance and much more.” Their union-busting practices border on human rights violations.

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    • Gillian

      Great comment, Bonnie Knight. I absolutely agree.

      Reply Report comment
  4. Vivek Sharma

    When will they come to India? Where to procure them?

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  5. kathy

    Goodness Thailand needs these and in small sizes to put all the food and sauces you get at the local food/meal market. What if hot liquid curry was put in them? Will they melt or biodegrade too quickly before I get home to eat it. Thinking positive- really want them to be a viable alternative- thanks for trying

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  6. Kathleen

    Do you have a distributor in California? Please let me k ow as I would love to distribute see these for you! I’m a huge environmentalist and Regional Manager of a top sales force. These would be a hit!

    Thank you for creating these!

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  7. Emmanuel Aubyn

    I am a mechanical engineer from Ghana in West Africa; living here in Austria and I make research on the environment.
    I work on electric vehicles; I work also on my “natural plastic technology”(NPT) to replace completely all the toxic petroleum plastics, which are dumped into our oceans and rivers to harm our fishes and other sea mammals.
    Finally; I work also on palm kernel oil as advanced biofuel for cleaner energy and for transportation.
    These three green projects make up my !life-saving project and I will hereby ask your group for some credit to realize it fully to be able to supply most of our global citizens with cleaner energy and also with more hygienic natural plastics.
    A lot has been said recently about “OCEAN PLASTICS” and also about climate change and global warming, but very little has been done to tackle all these global problems seriously and practically. My life-saving project has all the solutions to these problems, but I need some credit to grow about 60 very large-scale plantations of my NPT crops in my native Ghana to be able to supply our global citizens always with green raw materials and products.
    The crops of my NPT are: natural rubber,palm oil,coconut,cocoa,sheabutter and cassava, In order to make natural plastics from these crops, we shall have to blend them with some natural mineral oxides like: alumina,silica,calcium oxide and kaolin. All these minerals are found in very high qualities and quantities in my own hometown of Saltpond and its surrounding areas in Ghana and as a result of this, we do already have Saltpond Ceramics’ Factory, built by the Germans in the early seventies.
    Right now; it is only money to grow the plantations, which is lacking and so please help me to start growing my crops now.
    For the entire project, I will need about 15 Million US Dollars, but I will be very glad with any substantial amount your group can give to start this green lucrative project to save our present and future generations and our entire planet as a whole.
    We shall apply only natural fertilizers and pesticides on our crops, i.e. we shall totally avoid any use of toxic chemicals here.
    You may see that; apart from natural rubber; all other crops are edible and so we shall fully ensure their safety and purity here.
    We shall always have our entire farming process on the internet for interested buyers,companies and enterprises to see for themselves and we may even invite them cordially to come to Ghana to verify the authenticity of our green crops themselves.
    Due to the nature and the purity of our crops, many nations like: China,India,USA and EU nations will rush to buy our green produce from our farms like very hot cakes. China and India; with their massive air pollution problems from their dirty and fatal coal, will hotly embrace our cleaner and healthier palm kernel oil as a green substitute even more than pure gold and so, we shall make very heavy revenues, which will enable us to expand and extend our plantations to most African countries, to the Southeast Asia and also to the Central and South America, to create hundreds of millions of green jobs for their citizens to improve their standard of living and also to prevent the present global migration. When we extend our plantations to all the tropics, we shall then use the revenues to build them numerous factories and industries to manufacture all kinds of natural plastics from our natural raw materials to replace the toxic petroleum ones.Our natural plastics, will be always 100% recyclable and because they are not at all toxic, can be used over and over again and will never be dumped into our oceans anymore.
    We shall also build several palm kernel oil processing plants all over the world to produce greener palm kernel oil to replace all the toxic fossil fuels, to produce cleaner energy all the time globally. We shall always bury our carbon emissions in the ground to prevent air pollution and subsequently global warming as well. When all the natural raw materials are readily available, then we can totally get rid of the toxic petroleum products completely ad so please get me this credit to be able to carry out my life-saving project now, to change our world for the better. For the credit; I can even repay you 20 Million Dollars for the 15 Million Dollars within 5-6 yeas and continue to work with you globally to solve our environmental,social,health and economic problems all over the world and give all our kids also very good and free education. Please help me to start now and let me hear from you soon. Thank you very much.

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