Muscat: Biodegradable bags made from plant fibres are now available in Oman, in keeping with the government’s policy of banning plastic bags in the future.
Sain Bags is an Omani company that is bringing in organic bags made from cassava starch and plant fibres, which means the bags in question are biodegradable and compostable. The company was set up earlier this year by Omani national Husain Baomar, and public awareness programmes to make the bags available to people have begun recently.
The bags are imported from Indonesia, where they are manufactured by a company called Saesha Global Trading, and Sain Bags is now on the verge of signing a distribution agreement with local Omani companies, as well as others in the GCC and Africa.
“The owner is a young and enthusiastic Omani who believes that making healthy choices is important, but it’s not enough to counteract poor environmental conditions that affect our health,” said Grace Tio, product manager for Sain Bags.
Every child has the right to grow up in a healthy environment - to live, learn and play in healthy places. His dream is to save Oman’s Environment and conserve marine life, so that the future generation can live a healthier life.”
“Regular plastic bags have chemical additives added to help them break down, and they disintegrate more quickly than standard plastic bags, but they don’t disappear completely,” she added.
“Degradable or oxo-degradable bags just degrade into smaller and smaller particles. Perceptually, they kind of trick us into thinking they’re not harming the planet, but the plastic is still there, just in tiny particles, or micro-plastics, which as we know, is incredibly harmful to our ecosystem.”
While regular plastic bags take thousands of years to degrade completely, Sain Bags – depending on the environmental condition – biodegrade in three to six months, once they have been sent for composting. They can be safely stored at home until then.
“It is very easy to keep Sain Bags at home; they do not require any special temperature setting, and like any other bag, they can be reused until worn or torn off,” said Tio.
“These are primarily made of vegetable starch such as tapioca or corn along with some other natural extracts and resins and do not contain polyethylene or polypropylene. Since Sain Bags are completely anti toxic, they will not harm the animals or the environment, whereas if animals consume plastic, which they often do, it chokes them, leading to their unfortunate death.”
“Sain Bags are both home and industrial compostable making them safe for the environment,” she added. “The product was launched two months ago, and the first shipment of bags was brought into the Sultanate by the end of August.”
Given that this is one of the first eco-friendly bags to come to Oman, people were understandably surprised to see Sain Bags available in the country. “People are curious when they see Sain Bags, as all of our bags have the phrase ‘I’m not plastic’, and when they learn about it they are very excited to use it,” explained Tio.
“The response has been exceptional for us at Sain Bags. We want to say a big thank you to all the residents of Oman for supporting us in protecting our environment. In order to be in line with ministry initiatives, the most important approach for Sain Bags is to offer support at every step in order to raise awareness and educate the public on plastic pollution and sustainability.”
“We worked at the Estidama event organised by PDO to promote awareness, and are in conversation with various organisations, including the Environment Society Of Oman (ESO),” she added.
“Our endeavour is to create awareness among the residents of Oman, and we will support everyone, from individuals and retailers to wholesalers as much as we can. We plan to work closely with the tourism department, environmental agencies, hotel industries, supermarkets and all other organisations who are either suppliers or consumers of plastic bags.”
Should any customer choose to look at Sain Bags’ products, he/she can visit them at their corporate office at Al Raya Building in North Azaiba or give them a call on 24238886. Bags will be delivered to customers’ doorsteps.