UAE: Shopping bags that ‘animals can safely eat’ launched
The eco-bags break down on land or in water within six to nine months.
A new type of carrier bags — believed to be the most sustainable in the world — has been launched in the UAE. Made from an innovative material called biodolomer, its makers said the bags are actually safe for animals to eat.
Biodolomer, they said, is 50 per cent calcium carbonate and 50 per cent plant-based. This material makes the new shopping bags durable and compostable. They can be used up to 60 times and when they are no longer needed, they break down within six to nine months on land or in water, according to the manufacturer.
“We are all increasingly distressed by the images of wildlife — including camels here in the beautiful Emirati desert, and dolphins in the ocean — being suffocated by carelessly discarded plastic waste, and microplastics which also end up in the human food chain,” said David Hughes, the founder of Happy Dolphin, which makes a wide range of products using biodolomer.
“The launch here (UAE) has been made possible thanks to the vision and commitment being demonstrated for innovative and life-changing solutions to what will ultimately be an existential crisis.”
Biodolomer has been created by one of the world’s top eco-packaging scientists and the man behind tetrapak, Ake Rosen.
Rosen explained: “We have copied nature’s perfect packaging — the egg, which is 90 per cent calcium carbonate and 10 per cent protein. We borrow from nature and we return to nature.”
Animals and marine life can eat it safely as it is plant food and chalk, he added. “It degrades at ambient temperatures.”
Happy Dolphin is planning to distribute its products through major supermarkets in the Emirates and is also in touch with other industries, including airlines, to assist them with their efforts to reduce their use of plastic.
James Watfa, the company’s UAE distributor, said: “We can replace every single plastic bag in the UAE and would love to manufacture our full range of products on a massive scale here in Dubai. We aim to be at the Expo2020 where we can run events for schools, where we can inspire our young people to make a real difference.”
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