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SA’s first edible bowls aim to replace single-use plastic

Home Manufacturing & Processing Food & Beverage SA’s first edible bowls aim to replace single-use plastic

MUNCH Innovation, a company incubated at The Innovation Hub’s Climate Innovation Centre South Africa Business Incubation Programme, has designed and produces edible bowls to replace single-use plastic bowls for the food and catering industry.

Founding Partner Neeraj Mannie said research showed that only 16% of plastic in South Africa is recycled, citing a study conducted by the Department of Environmental Affairs in 2017 which confirmed that packaging constitutes the largest component of single-use plastic waste generated in South Africa.

“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,” said Mannie, adding that 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.

It was to address this concern that Munch Innovations started making edible bowls to replace single-use plastic bowls used in the food and catering industry – a first for the country, according to Mannie.

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.”

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 locally.

“It is the only edible food bowl in the world produced here in South Africa and we want people to know that there are alternatives to plastic available,” said Mannie.

Pieter Holl, CEO of The Innovation Hub said finding a solution to the single-use plastic problem was a win for the country. “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,” Holl said.

The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), is the innovation agency of the Gauteng province and is responsible for managing Africa’s first internationally accredited Science and Technology Park of the same name, and is a full member of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP).

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