The winner of Latin America’s innovation award, named Patricio Cabezas, presented his revolutionary product in the streets of Miami, for the ProChile Innovative Summit, where he showed off the next step in environment conservation, which was a completely biodegradable plastic bag, which can dissolve in water in just three minutes. The best innovation in Latin America was awarded to him by Singularity University, which is a Silicon Valley think-tank, that has also partnered with Google as well as other tech firms.
This new plastic bag is made out of polyvinyl alcohol, which is a non-toxic material, also known as ‘innocuous’, and it’s actually what pharmaceutical capsules are made of. And after being submerged in some water for just three minutes, it’s going to disappear completely. Meanwhile, a regular plastic bag takes about 500 years to decompose. During his cool presentation, Cabezas poured some water over the bag, let it dissolve, while the audience was watching, and then poured some of the water into a glass and drank it himself. His goal, in going to Miami was to make more contracts and raise the capital and the participation in his firm, which was founded in 2014.
Cabezas is a former engineer who was working for a major Chilean plastic manufacturing plant, and he says that he used to work to create problems, but now he intends to solve that same problem. He partnered with Solubag, and is one of the five partners within the company, in an attempt to produce a bag that has the same capabilities that the regular, polyethylene bags have, and his new plastic bags have already been successfully incorporated into some of the major chain shopping centers in Chile. He also has potential contracts with Mexico, Australia, Panama and some parts of Europe. Furthermore, back in July, the constitutional court in Chile ratified a bill which bans the use of plastic bags in businesses, so Cabezas’ idea came at just the right moment. Other countries that are located in the same region, like Jamaica and Dominica, are now following Chile’s idea, and they are also planning on banning single-use plastics in their countries within the next two years.