This Edible Food Wrapper Could Eliminate Plastic Waste
Imagine grabbing a quick lunch and being able to not only eat your sandwich, but also the wrapper. That futuristic daydream might soon be reality, thanks to an Indonesian-based startup that's offering manufacturers, grocers, and food brands the opportunity to tap into the seaweed market to replace single-use food packaging.
Evoware is an edible packaging product made from Indonesia’s ample supply of untapped seaweed, and David Christian, the co-founder of Evoware, believes his product could eliminate most of the plastic pollution in ocean waters stemming from food industry waste.
Fast Company first reported on Evoware after the startup earned a $1 million grant from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation after their contest searched for someone to solve the problem of plastics that are too small to be recycled (think: shrink-wrap and coffee cup lids).
Evoware’s seaweed-based wrapping would not only avoid perpetually full landfills, but the seaweed base also has the ability to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions because it utilizes carbon dioxide in its growing process. Unlike other plastic alternatives, seaweed doesn’t require any additional resources to grow. In fact, Christian says seaweed farmers have an unused abundance that simply goes to waste. While Evoware didn’t share it’s manufacturing techniques with Fast Company, The Daily Mail reports that the seaweed is harvested into food wrapping without the use of chemicals.
Evoware is initially being proposed as a simple wrap for prepared foods like sandwiches and as a flavorless vessel for soup seasonings and teas, as the packaging would simply dissolve in hot water. And while this seemingly futuristic product is currently more expensive to produce than traditional packaging, Evoware would be able to reduce costs as production is ramped up and as more clients opt for alternative wrapping.
We’re hoping that the company sees enough success to work on an international scale and that seaweed might be the answer to reducing our waste and carbon footprint.