印度公司製成百分百降解可食用“塑膠袋”


[email protected] China Post

In an effort to combat plastic pollution, Indian startup EnviGreen has come up with a combination of natural starch and vegetable oils that looks and feels just like plastic, but is 100 percent organic, biodegradable and eco-friendly. You can even dispose of such a “plastic” bag by eating it. 為了解決塑膠污染問題,印度新興企業EnviGreen用天然澱粉和植物油合成出一種塑膠狀的材料,這種純有機材料是百分百可降解的,也絕不會損害環境。你甚至可以通過食用來處理這種“塑膠袋”。

EnviGreen founder Ashwath Hedge came up with the idea for these revolutionary bags after seeing people struggling to find alternatives to plastic bags, following bans imposed by several Indian cities. 此前,印度的一些城市頒發了禁塑令,但人們卻很難找到塑膠袋的替代品,目睹了這一窘境後,EnviGreen的創始人阿史沃斯•赫奇提出了這一革新性的理念——百分百降解可食用“塑膠袋”。

“People were concerned about how they would carry products from the market now. Everyone cannot afford a bag worth Rs. 5 or Rs. 15 to carry a kilogram of sugar,” he told The Better India. So the 25-year-old decided to work on something that would solve this problem while being environment-friendly. 他對印度新聞網站The Better India說:“人們現在關注用什麼方式把商品從超市帶回家。人們並不願為了一千克糖多花五至十五盧比來買包裝袋。”所以,25歲的赫奇決定研發一種環保材料以解決這個難題。

Hedge spent four years researching and experimenting with various materials, but one day he discovered a combination of 12 ingredients, including potato, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana, and flower oil, that looked and felt like plastic, but posed none of the environmental problems. 赫奇用了4年時間去研究測試不同的材料,直到有一天,他發現用土豆、木薯、穀物、天然澱粉、植物油、香蕉和花油等12種原料混合在一起可以製作出一種新材料,這種材料的外形和觸感都很像塑膠,但卻不會引起任何環境問題。

The manufacturing process is obviously a closely-guarded secret, but the young entrepreneur did reveal that the raw materials are first converted into liquid form, and then taken through a six-stage process to create the bags. 該材料的製作過程現在還是商業秘密,但赫奇透露稱,他們會將原料先處理成流體,然後分六個階段最終製成成品。

The cost of an EnviGreen bag is about 35% higher than that of a plastic bag, but the benefits of using the former are more than worth the extra cost. Once discarded, EnviGreen bags biodegrade naturally in less than 180 days, and if placed in water at room temperature, they dissolve in less than a day. For quick disposal, they can be placed in boiling water, and they dissolve in about 15 seconds. 雖然EnviGreen研發的購物袋成本比一般的塑膠袋高出35%左右,但它帶來的利益遠遠大於其額外成本。此款購物袋被丟棄後,可以在6個月之內完全自然降解;如果將它們放置在室溫的水中,它們則會在一天內溶解消失。而如果將袋子放在沸水中的話,則分解得更快,大概只需要15秒。

“We don’t use any chemicals at all. Even the paint used for printing on the bags is natural and organic,” Ashwath boasts. That not only means that users can discard them without hurting the environment, but also that animals can safely ingest them. 赫奇說:“我們沒有使用任何化學原料。就連袋子上的圖案都是由自然有機的塗料繪成的。” 這不止能防止丟棄的袋子污染環境,還能避免動物因誤食普通塑膠袋而陷入危險。

In fact, EnviGreen “plastic” bags are edible, something that Hedge was more than happy to demonstrate in his interview with The Better India. He simply soaked a bag in water and gulped it down with a smile on his face. 事實上,EnviGreen的“塑膠袋”是可食用的,在The Better India的採訪中,赫奇對這一點頗為自豪。他簡單地用水浸濕袋子,然後面帶微笑地將其吞了下去。