An Indonesian startup behind the edible seaweed-based cup Ello Jello is expanding its business to provide solutions to end plastic pollution by creating campaigns and offering a range of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic items.
Evo & Co, which was founded in 2016, makes cups and other containers from farmed seaweed free of chemicals and other natural ingredients, as a biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging.
The Jakarta-based startup began its mission to create biodegradable solutions to single-use plastic with its edible single-use cup, Ello Jello.
Ello Jello, with its texture akin to a more solid form of jelly, is made from seaweed and without preservatives, artificial sweeteners, gluten or gelatin.
Sold to restaurants, Ello Jello is available in several different flavours, including orange, lychee, green tea and peppermint, and can last up to seven days when stored in the fridge.
After winning numerous awards for their Ello Jello cup, Evo & Co set out to expand the business by offering a wider range of solutions.
In addition to the Ello Jello cup, which forms part of Evo & Co’s Evoware range, the startup also make biodegradable packaging made from dried seaweed.
The company is said to be able to produce 60 sheets of such packaging a day, which can be easily dissolved in water and serve as a safe wrapper for sandwiches, coffee powder, dry seasoning and soap bars.
The packaging, which lasts up to two years, is also edible or can be turned into fertiliser as it will decompose in 1-2 months.
Seaweed was chosen as the main material in line with the company’s mission to utilise natural resources.
Evoware co-founder David Christian said the idea of seaweed-based edible packaging was spurred by his desire to fight an explosion in plastic waste over the last few years in his home city of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital of 10 million people.
He said: “Indonesia is one of the largest producers of seaweed. Although the country produces tons of seaweed per year, the welfare of many seaweed farmers is still below standard. Therefore, we collaborate with koperasi [cooperatives] in Makassar, South Sulawesi, to purchase seaweed directly from local farmers at a decent price.”
In addition to being rich in nutrition, Evoware believes that seaweed is highly beneficial for the environment. “Seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide and is food for fish, thus playing an important role in the ecosystem of the sea,” David Christian added.
Evo & Co has been able to stop the use of 15,143,625 single-use plastic items as businesses use the company’s sustainable packaging range instead.
The brand also actively promote sustainable lifestyle through their collaborative movement, Rethink Campaign.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com