Man invents organic material to change how we use plastic

While filming an advertisement for the internet, a young man took a plastic bag, ripped off a piece, and drank it with water. People watching this stunt were left in total shock — isn't that supposed to be dangerous for your health? After all, it's plastic, something we know is toxic. But that was precisely the point. 

Kevin Kumala, a young man from the paradise island of Bali, Indonesia, knew that his beautiful home was under threat. His greatest feeling of frustration lay in the fact that the landscape was being destroyed by something that every one of us uses on a daily basis without a second thought: plastic. 

Indonesia is the world's second-largest disposable plastic polluter. Though many of us are aware of the negative impact plastic has, few seem willing to do anything about it. That's why mountains of garbage mainly consisting of plastic have sprung up all over the world. 

Shutterstock/Dewi Putra

The garbage piles in Bali have been "hidden" away from the tourist hotspots on the island. However, this does little to stop them from severely polluting the beaches and causing great harm to the local wildlife. It was recently reported in India that a cow had 45lbs of plastic bags removed from its stomach after eating from a garbage pile its entire life. As the situation continued to get worse, Kevin felt he couldn't just idly stand by. 

YouTube/Avani Bali

He put his background in biology to good use and directed all his efforts into finding a solution to Indonesia's major problems with pollution and the invasion of plastic. It takes a long time to change people's mindsets and encourage them to recycle, so Kevin opted for a different approach: what if we create the same products using organic and biodegradable materials? 

This is how Avani was founded. Kevin's initiative creates products that are same as those made from plastic, but uses plants and other organic materials instead. Avani's most impressive product surely has to be the plastic bag; it's manufactured using yuca, a root found throughout Indonesia and parts of the Americas, and could be the perfect replacement for everyday plastic shopping bags. Bags made from yuca are non-toxic and only last for 100 days, meaning they have no detrimental effect on the environment. 

And what better way to prove to the world how incredibly ecological this bag is than eating it. Its important message has already reached thousands of people and several businesses are gradually transitioning to Avani products for their packaging. While this great initiative still requires further funding to expand globally, it's already had a positive impact on pollution levels on Bali. 

Watch the following video if you'd like to find out more about the Avani project:

Warning: This video contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.


Kevin's hope for the future is that most disposable plastic items can be made from organic and biodegradable materials. If he keeps up the hard work, his dream could be fulfilled sooner than he thinks. Avani's food containers look and feel as though they're made of real plastic, so it makes no sense to go for the option that harms the environment. If Kevin's organization can secure the necessary funding for global expansion, then maybe we can put the brakes on the damage we're causing to our planet. What do you think about this project?




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