Without a shadow of a doubt the biggest source of immediate plastic waste in our industry, and in all clothing industries, is the plastic every item is wrapped in. It’s a massive issue and one which you’d think is easy to solve but really isn’t. Trouble is plastic protects clothing really well, and we have become used to getting garments through the post in perfect condition. If you have an item arrive that isn’t you’ll soon send it back thus creating more waste. Some companies tinker with biodegradeable plastic, but in all reality this is just as bad for the environment as it gives people a false sense of security and it is often disposed of less responsibly. What’s more biodegradeable plastic simply breaks into tiny pieces more quickly than regular plastic.
So is this the answer? A plastic like bag, with no plastic in it, that takes just 180 days to degrade and dissolves in water in minutes and is totally edible? Developed in India, a country with horrific plastic problems, it delivers all of the aforementioned characteristics. Like a lot of innovations it is born out of necessity. Founder, Ashworth Hedge, realised that whilst the increasing number of plastic bag bans and charges across India was needed, it also meant that especially the poorer population were suffering as even small amounts that had to be paid for bags for life were too much. So after experimenting he came up with a combo of vegetable oil and starch – thus Envigreen bags were born.
This sounds like a big problem solved, but there are obviously limitations, especially in clothing. One of plastic’s great properties is it keeps everything dry, so it is a little unclear as to what will happen if a bag gets wet, even slightly; is it going to breakdown and damage clothes? But, having said this, what is obvious is that alternatives are right there, they can be developed, and whilst it doesn’t help with what’s going on in the ocean right now, it helps secure the future. Check out Envigreen Here
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