Quantcast

Eat This Food Packaging Instead of Throwing It Away

Biodegradable and edible packaging from seaweed. Evoware / Instagram

You might compost religiously. You might recycle everything your city can handle. But even the most environmentally conscious individual might have trouble responsibly disposing the ubiquitous food wrapper.

These crinkly, colorful sheets that come with our granola bars and potato chips can contain so many different materials mixed together (plastic, aluminum, paper, etc.) that recycling it can be too laborious or too expensive to be worth it.


But Indonesian startup Evoware has come up with a genius solution to tackle this problem by creating an edible and biodegradable packaging made from seaweed. The company says its product has a two-year shelf life and can dissolve in warm water. It can be customized to give a specific taste, like mint or green tea.

The seaweed-based packaging—which claims to be high in fiber, vitamins and minerals—can be wrapped around an endless number of items. For instance, you can dunk whole sugar packets right into your hot coffee. You can wrap a sheet around a burger and consume it whole. Don't want to eat it? Compost it.

The packaging can also be wrapped around non-food items such as toothpicks, sanitary napkins and soap.Evoware

Jakarta food and beverages retailer Ong Tek Tjan told Reuters that he sells ice cream from Evoware's jelly cups that customers can eat afterwards.

"I too support this environment-friendly cause," Ong said, but he noted that consumers may take time to adapt to the product that is pricier than current options.

While Evoware's products are currently made by hand and are certainly more expensive than typical plastic versions, it's clear that plastic pollution has a major cost to the environment. Indonesia happens to be the second-largest ocean plastic polluter, behind China.

Evoware co-founder David Christian told Reuters he developed the packaging to fight this mounting global issue.

"I saw how much plastic waste is produced here, which takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade and contaminates everything," he said.

Evoware's product also has a positive impact for Indonesian seaweed farmers. Indonesia is one of the world's biggest seaweed producers, but many seaweed farmers live in poverty, as Christian notes in the video below. The business can help the livelihood of its farmers all while conserving nature.

"We can maintain many hectares of seashore cleanliness, reducing tons of plastic waste, decreasing farmers' bad credit, increasing farmers' income and prosperity of farmer families," he said.

Watch here to learn more about the effort:

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

By Kate Murphy

No matter the time of year, there's always a point in each season when my skin decides to cause me issues. While these skin issues can vary, I find the most common issues to be dryness, acne and redness.

Read More Show Less

David Woodfall / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Sam Nickerson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2018 proposed relaxing standards related to how it assesses the effects of exposure to low levels of toxic chemicals on public health.

Now, correspondence obtained by the LA Times revealed just how deeply involved industry lobbyists and a controversial, industry-funded toxicologist were in drafting the federal agency's proposal to scrap its current, protective approach to regulating toxin exposure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Steve Irwin poses with a three foot long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo on June 26, 2002. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.

Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.

Read More Show Less
Left: Youtube / Screenshot, Right: alle12 / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

That video showed the extrusion of a bubblegum-pink substance oozing into a coiled pile, something between Play-Doh, sausage and soft-serve strawberry ice cream. Branded "pink slime"—the name came from an email sent by a USDA microbiologist in 2002—this stuff was actually beef, destined for supermarkets and fast-food burgers.

Read More Show Less
Climate activist Greta Thunberg addresses the European Commission on Feb. 21 in Brussels, Belgium. Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged a quarter of $1 trillion budget over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.

In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.

Read More Show Less