Researchers from Naresuan University in Thailand created sturdy bowls constructed from leaves and starch that won’t leak and are biodegradable.
The researchers’ design was inspired by the growing mound of styrofoam bowls and plates near a temple in northern Thailand. Engineering lecturers from the university worked for over a year to produce a viable product that could take the place of styrofoam and reduce waste at the same time.
It was a process of trial and error that lead the team to discover the proper leaves to use for the construction of the containers were from thong kwao (bastard teak), sak (teak) and sai (banyan) trees. All components are native to Thailand.
To increase aesthetic appeal, the engineers added starch to add a sheen to the bowl to make it more visually appealing. The bowl can hold both hot and cold items such as rice and soup, and will naturally degrade after it’s thrown away. The bowls even come in a variety of shapes to best suit the various types of foods offered by street vendors.
It would be wonderful to see these bowl mass produced as there are so many beneficial qualities that can help the environment. This could help to reduce styrofoam usage which is harmful to our planet since it takes at a minimum, 500 years to degrade.