New day, new innovations. This is what our world has become.
In observation of the Plastic-Free Month, news reaching us is that Munch Innovation – a company incubated at The Innovation Hub’s Climate Innovation Centre South Africa Business Incubation Programme – has designed and are now producing edible bowls to replace single-use plastic bowls for the food and catering industry.
Neeraj Mannie, Founding Partner of Munch Innovations, told Goodthingsguy.com that their latest innovation strives to provide a solution to the challenge of plastic pollution and its impacts on human health and the environment.
“My biggest concern is the single-use packaging used in the food and catering industry. This causes waste to accumulate daily, with marine life suffering and our landfills filling up,” he said.
Munch Innovations makes edible bowls to replace single-use plastic bowls used in the food and catering industry. It is the first of its kind in South Africa. The bowls are made with organic ingredients, including unbleached and stone-ground wheat flour, bran, canola oil and rooibos extract.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that we do not use colourants and chemical preservatives. The rooibos extract acts as a natural preservative. Not only does our product prevent pollution, but it adds nutrient value to your meal,” Mannie added.
The company’s bowls are being manufactured in Cape Town and are currently being exported to clients in Ghana, Dubai and Belgium. The bowls are also being sold in South Africa and according to Mannie, they are the “only edible food bowl in the world” produced in South Africa. He reiterated that he wanted people to know that there are alternatives to plastic bowls available.
Munch Innovation was showcased on CNN INNOVATE AFRICA and will be showcased at the Global Innovator Pavilion for Expo 2020, the largest expo in the world, to take place in October 2021.
Pieter Holl, CEO of The Innovation Hub, said that finding a solution to the single-use plastic problem was a win for South Africa.
“We are all responsible for providing a cleaner future for generations to come, keeping our landfills as empty as possible and diminishing pollution to the ocean. Munch Innovations has set an excellent example in this direction,” he said.
The World’s Plastic Pollution Crisis Explained
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing Asian and African nations, where garbage collection systems are often inefficient or nonexistent.
But the developed world, especially in countries with low recycling rates, also has trouble properly collecting discarded plastics. Plastic trash has become so ubiquitous it has prompted efforts to write a global treaty negotiated by the United Nations.
Over eight million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, and the impacts of plastic pollution can be seen across our oceans. Lightweight litter, such as chip packets and sweet wrappers, are often carried by the wind-down stormwater drains and urban canals, making their way into streams and rivers and, ultimately, the sea.
More than half of the plastic entering the ocean is less dense than the water, meaning that it will not sink once it enters the sea.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) located halfway between Hawaii and California is the largest of the world’s oceans’ five offshore plastic accumulation zones. The GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres.
By making use of single-use plastic containers, the world is contributing to garbage islands like this one.
It is encouraging to see that modern innovations from South Africa are addressing the challenge of plastic pollution and its impacts on human health and the environment.