A new and different kind of non-plastic bag was introduced at the ProChile Innovative Summit by Patricio Cabezas. The fully biodegradable bag, Solubag, won the Latin America’s innovation award. Patricio Cabezas was working as an engineer with a big Chilean plastic manufacturing plant. He said, ‘First I helped create the problem, and now I’m solving it.’
What makes this Solubag so special? It can dissolve in water and is edible. Solubag has been created using a non-toxic material – polyvinyl alcohol – that is also used for pharmaceutical capsules. Within three minutes of submerging the bag into the water, the bag dissolves completely. Roberto Astete and Cristian Olivares are the two researchers from Chile who are the geniuses behind this amazing biodegradable non-plastic bag. Astete said, ‘Our product comes from limestone that does not hurt the environment. What remains in the water is carbon has no effect on the human body.’
Patricio Cabezas even gave a demonstration on how quickly the Solubag dissolves and just how safe it is during his presentation in Miami. He showed the dissolving of the Solubag to the audience and then poured the water into a glass and drank it. Astete says, ‘It’s like making bread. To make bread, you need flour and other ingredients. Our flour is polyvinyl alcohol and other elements approved by the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] that have allowed us to create a prime material to make different products.’
Another added advantage of these plastic bags is that these bags also impart protection against asphyxia – the name that is given to child-accidents at home – since they will dissolve as soon as they come into contact with a person’s tongue or tears. Patricio Cabezas partnered with Solubag in Chile to create Solubag – a bag that features the same capabilities as its polyethylene counterpart. The produced bag has been successfully incorporated into the big shopping centers in Chile. The aim of this bag is to reduce the damage that we are doing to our environment by providing a product that can be demolished when a person chooses.
The Solubag has a hot water version as well, and this version won’t break down during rain or humidity. In order to dissolve it, you will have to subject it to water with a temperature of 85°C (185°F) or higher. The hot water version, when thrown out, will break down completely in 190 days. You can check out Solubag in action in the video below!