Plastic you can drink: A solution for pollution?

Story highlights

  • Balinese company seeks to fight plastic pollution through a sustainable alternative
  • Cassava-based product can be drunk by humans
  • Emerging field of bioplastics is growing rapidly

(CNN)The island of Bali is a jewel of the Indonesian archipelago, a tourist magnet known for idyllic beaches and lush forests.

But the curse of plastic pollution threatens to make this a paradise lost, disfigured by trash-strewn shores and sprawling landfill sites.
    Only China dumps more plastic in the ocean than Indonesia, and much of it washes up in Bali.
      The crisis inspired local surfer and entrepreneur Kevin Kumala to find a novel solution.
      "I was with a friend sitting outside a bar and we were seeing hundreds of motorcyclists wearing vinyl ponchos," he recalls. "It clicked that these disgusting, toxic ponchos would be used a few times and then discarded, but they would not decompose."
      The biology graduate resolved to create a better plastic, that would leave no trace.