Campaigners have long argued that plastic bags, when not properly disposed of, ruin the cityscape, spoil the countryside and damage biodiversity, seas and the coastline.

In England, a law requiring large shops to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags was introduced in 2015 in a bid to significantly reduce the litter that plastic bags can cause, and to encourage their re-use.

However Avani, a provider of eco-friendly sustainable disposables chose to address plastic pollution through innovative design, rather than wait for a behavioural shift in consumers to arise.

Avani’s ‘eco-bags’ are made from cassava root starch and other natural resins, using no petroleum products. The company states that they are 100% compostable, unlike other biodegradable plastic alternatives, and in case these bags are not disposed of, they are said to ‘disappear’ with the help of macro and micro-organisms under natural conditions.

The bags are safe for consumption by both land and marine animals, and dissolve in less than 150 days when discarded in bodies of water. When dissolved in water, Avani even claims that the water is completely safe for human consumption.

While most prominent in the food sector, the issue of biodegradability in both formulation and packaging is increasingly evident in the personal care sector, fuelled by the proposed ban on microbeads in several developed economies, including the UK.

The future for eco-bags such as those created by Avani is therefore bright, and has potential to drive the development and use of bio-plastics across industries. While the use of plastics bags is far from becoming obsolete, increasingly innovative plastic alternatives are a far better option than non-biodegradable plastics currently in use.