This non-plastic bag can dissolve in water in less than 5 minutes — and its creators are hoping it can help cut down on global pollution.
Solubag’s revolutionary material closely resembles a generic shopping bag at first glance. However, unlike its plastic counterpart, a Solubag can easily be dissolved in cold water, leaving behind a non-toxic byproduct that can safely be poured down a consumer’s drain, according to the company’s website. By contrast, a traditional plastic bag can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill.
Solubags are made of a biodegradable material, which is created by a synthesis process involving calcium carbide and natural gas. The groundbreaking substance, which was invented by Chilean researchers Roberto Astete and Cristian Olivares in 2014, can also be used to create reusable canvas bags that break down in hot water.
“What remains in the water is carbon,” Astete told El País in 2018, adding that the byproduct “has no effect on the human body.”
Since Solubag’s raw material can be extruded in any plastic extrusion machine, the company says its product can be scaled very quickly and is seeking out partnerships with industry bag plastics producers.
Solubag claims that 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year and that 70 percent of them end up discarded into the environment. Thus, the company is hoping its groundbreaking product can eliminate single-use plastic bags altogether.
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