Images via Creative Review
While I don't really understand why magazines are often packaged in plastic in the first place, Creative Review magazine is trialing a plastic bag that isn't so frustrating. In fact, it sounds downright awesome. It is made from a material developed by CyberPac called "harmless-dissolve" (no, seriously...that's what it's called) and it dissolves in hot water, making it completely zero waste.
Instructions on the bag tell readers that all you have to do is cut off the biodegradable glue strip, put the bag in hot water, and Voila! it's gone. No waste, no guilt about packaging.
Now, there are some big questions that are only partly addressed in CR's post. First, is it toxic when in the water? They've been assured that it's completely harmless, and they even tested it out by drinking it. Apparently it tastes horrible, but didn't kill them, so we're sort of okay on that front. Then again, sunscreen doesn't kill us but it's killing corals when in the water, so we aren't totally convinced.
Also, do you have to dissolve the plastic in hot water in order to get rid of it? Apparently the water is just a bit of flashiness, speeding up the process so we oooh and aaah. But you can toss it in the compost pile and it'll dissolve in there too.
CyberPac states, "Harmless-Dissolve is made from a hydro-degradable substrate which is 5 times stronger than normal polythene. It is a readily biodegradable, water soluble polymer which completely biodegrades in a composting environment, in a dishwasher or in a washing machine. It has no harmful residues and will biodegrade into naturally occuring substances - the bugs love it. It's non-toxic and is degraded by micro-organisms, moulds and yeasts... In the end the bag becomes carbon dioxide, water and biomass."
So is the hydro-degradable substrate some sort of corn starch? Humm... We're still a bit wary, but enthusiastic about the idea. Zero waste plastic packaging for magazines - It sure seems a whole lot better than more plastic in landfills or oceans!