KENYA – GreenX Telemechanics has developed edible cups and plates dubbed snackuit, offering a sustainable alternative solution to single-use plastics.
The firm has partnered with Sheryl Mboya (a Mt Kenya law student) who is the patent holder of snackuit, to develop innovations that aim to contribute to climate action.
Challenged by the deteriorating climatic conditions, this innovation seeks to eradicate single-use plastic by providing an environmentally safe and biodegradable alternative to plastic materials.
The alternative material is a derivative from a common food product and is safe for consumption by marine and land animals, birds, as well as human beings.
The material can be used to make plastic products such as disposable utensils which can be eaten upon completion of your meal.
Snackuit is prepared with ingredients that are high in fiber, magnesium, iron, manganese, amino acids, calcium, folic acid, essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, and antioxidants, and contains zero sweets, fats, or cholesterol.
“Snackuit is made using edible products. As such the end product is edible and can be consumed by all living organisms (human beings, plants, land and marine animals. It is free from allergies, cholesterol and is also sugar-free,” says Sheryl Mboya in an interview with the Daily Nation.
According to Mboya, the invention came amidst calls for climate action aimed at reducing plastic pollution in Kenya and across the world.
“Snackuit addresses the latter solution by offering a more sustainable and innovative alternative to plastic consumption and consequently plastic pollution,” she added.
On the targeted market, Mboya targets everyone and every industry that consumes plastics, “This is not limited to individual consumption of plastics.
“As such, we are honored to work with Kenya Airways through the Fahari Innovation Hub to oversee their change from plastic consumption within their business’ operations to a more sustainable alternative.”
The development of innovative alternatives to single-plastic has been on the rise following a directive by the Kenyan government to ban all single-use plastic bags in 2017.
This was preceded by the country’s decision to sign the Clean Seas initiative, making it one of the first African nations to commit to limiting plastic in its waterways.
Just like Mboya, Leila Siljeur, a Chemical Engineering student at Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa innovated edible straws in 2019.
She designed edible and environmentally friendly straws coming in three ranges; gelatine for regular straws, plants for vegan straws and fruit for the health variety
Demand for biodegradable packaging has been rising across the world, with Markets and Markets forecasting the global edible packaging market size is expected to grow from US$ 527 million in 2019 to US$679 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.3%.