Written by Student Reporter, Evita Sonny (Management 2020)
Become an activator for Indonesia Free of Plastic Waste by providing environmental-friendly plastics that are easily biodegradable, Ecoplastid was born from the anxiety of a group of young socio-preneurs with concern of the accumulation of plastic waste that occurred in Indonesia. The use of plastic is very high in the community has made Indonesia ranks second largest number of plastic waste users after China. Together with the other five members, Gabriel Butarbutar, an ITB student from Chemistry batch 2015 has successfully created eco-friendly product which is bioplastic, various packaging made of cassava starch and palm, such as shopping bags, garbage bags, laundry bags, cups, straws. The trend of eco-friendly lifestyle awareness is rising, more people are concerned about the use of less plastic waste.
Brought from research background of final project, Gabriel still do more research and development for the product in more emphasized in the technique to increase cost efficiency. More focused on palm, bioplastic can give more advantages, which are, biodegradable in 1-2 years, 100% natural material, and water proof. “ I see that palm is the biggest export product in Indonesia, but most of it have not been processed in domestic, so Ecoplastid wants to give added value from palm to produce products at competitive prices.” Gabriel said.
Ecoplastid realizes that plastic is a part of people’s daily lives that is used to wrap or package everything and is also practically effective. But the weakness of plastic is not being able to decompose quickly and can pollute the environment and the earth’s ecosystems so that it pollutes the earth. For that reason, Ecoplastid is an environmental solution to keep the environment and the earth’s ecosystem clean and not polluted, by providing various types of environmentally friendly plastics that can decompose quickly and are made from plant extracts that have been tested and do not pollute the environment.
The process of making bioplastic products from Ecoplastid is started from raw materials namely crude palm oil and palm empty fruit bunches. 32 from the empty bunches of dried palm is taken into alpha cellulose, then both are diprose esterified to become cellulose ester and molded into bioplastics.
By joining as tenant of Greaterhub in SBM ITB since June 2019, Gabriel and his team get much benefit not only the facility to get mentorship and working space, but also the experience of involved in exhibition and pitching to get funding from investor. Currently, Ecoplastid has already commercialized their bioplastic in marketplaces and has collaborated with several national and international brands in order to keep the earth clean from plastic waste.
In the next future, Gabriel hopes that Ecoplasitid can hold environmentally friendly events, conduct socialization on the use of environmentally friendly plastics, and take part in any activities related to sustainability by doing more product diversification offered to public. “I want to bring awareness of eco-friendly to everyone’s mindset, action, and lifestyle.” he continued.