Reducing the use of plastic packaging in Indonesia - No time to waste

Indonesia
The In-Venture team

          To solve the problem of single-use plastic in Indonesia, the local startup Evoware is designing edible food wraps entirely made of seaweed. Indonesia is indeed the second-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution, a large share of which is due to single-use plastic items such as plastic bags, cups, straws or bottles. Plastic particles damage aquatic ecosystems, contaminates scarce water resources and infiltrate into groundwater which also affects crops. Evoware is offering an alternative to these container using seaweed, making it not only edible but also nutritious.

 

The first product developed by Evoware is the Ello Jello edible cup. It comes in different colours and flavours and can be easily made  at home, making it a fun way to educate the young generations to reduce their plastic use. The company has recently been expanding its range of products to various seaweed-based packaging and soluble sachet, for tea, coffee or instant noodles, that are 100% biodegradable and works as a natural plant fertilizer.

 

For Evoware’s founder David, having an impact not only on the environment, but also on the livelihood of seaweed farmers is important. Although Indonesia is the first exporter of seaweed in the world, farmers are still very poor as they struggle with very long supply chains and loan sharks. Evoware is thus partnering with local seaweed farmers to teach them how to produce the best quality seaweed and then buy it at a fair price, which is 3 times higher than what they usually get.

 

The company also collaborates with orphanages for both the production and sale of the Ello Jello cups.

The children are taught how to make the cups, then they can sell them and keep 100% of the profits to finance the daily activities of the orphanage.  

 

Although still in its testing phase, Evoware already got pre-orders from 360 companies for its seaweed-based packaging and aims to start commercialization next year. The products are indeed quite expensive at the moment compared to traditional plastic, but David expects the price to significantly drop once Evoware is able to produce large quantities. The company is currently relying on grants and plans to reach out to impact investors as soon as the full-scale manufacturing starts. Its development will be closely followed by the international community as it could offer a sustainable solution to the global plastic crisis.