SA will soon have 100% biodegradable plastic bags

South Africans will soon be able to dispose of their plastic bags along with the rest of their waste without having to worry about any possible negative effects on the environment.

The development could prove to be disruptive to the plastic industry in the country.

The innovation is attributed to a team of scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Polymer and Composite Research Group in Port Elizabeth.

The 100% biodegradable plastic bags will be made from agricultural byproducts.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, senior researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research spoke to 702 host, Azania Mosaka about this ground-breaking development.

The maize and sugar cane bio-based bags are completely biodegradable in mud‚ soil‚ water and compost and break down completely in just three to six months.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, Senior Researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research

Muniyasamy says the bags will be durable and can be re-used. He adds that they are in talks with Plastic SA to educate South Africans on how to use the bags and dispose of them in the recommended manner.

Also read: 27 contact lenses removed from British woman's eye

Muniyasamy said the new bags currently cost two to three times more to manufacture than normal bags.

Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy, Senior Researcher in Biodegradable Plastics at Council For Scientific and Industrial Research

Listen to the interview here:


This article first appeared on 702 : SA will soon have 100% biodegradable plastic bags


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Plastic surgery apps may affect your child's body image

Plastic surgery apps may affect your child's body image

Parenting expert Nikki Bush explains why parents should be aware they are not the only ones shaping their child's body image.

Reverse osmosis water is purer than our tap water - engineering professor

Reverse osmosis water is purer than our tap water - engineering professor

A group of UCT graduates has done tremendous work in tackling waste water and desalination.

Dad's unique 'virtual reality' DIY rollercoaster gets family to Disney World

Dad's unique 'virtual reality' DIY rollercoaster gets family to Disney World

Watch how this dad created a homemade rollercoaster for his kid in front of his telly, and his ingenuity got him a free trip.

They always had a plan to try see me out on the streets - Robert Marawa

They always had a plan to try see me out on the streets - Robert Marawa

Robert Marawa opens up about his strained relationship with Metro FM, his upbringing and the 'wedding' ring he wears.

How to build a brand (and what destroys it)

How to build a brand (and what destroys it)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Aurik Business Accelerator’s Pavlo Phitidis.

Read all the #GuptaLeaks? Ain't nobody got time for that! Here’s a summary…

Read all the #GuptaLeaks? Ain't nobody got time for that! Here’s a summary…

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield asks an amaBhungane investigator to summarise revelations from the “gift” that keeps on giving.

South Africans are finding it tough to survive off one income stream

South Africans are finding it tough to survive off one income stream

Slashers are people who have some sort of additional sideline business or another job, while permanently employed.

If a minimum wage is a good idea, what about a maximum?

If a minimum wage is a good idea, what about a maximum?

Salary caps are not new, but wage gaps have never been this big, perhaps this is how could we address it.

Why is the CoCT not collecting blue refuse bags?

Why is the CoCT not collecting blue refuse bags?

Cllr Xanthea Limberg responds to concerns about the blue refuse bags that lie on the side of the roads, mostly half full.

Prosecution on the cards for "toxic" religious sector - CRL

Prosecution on the cards for "toxic" religious sector - CRL

The CRL commission found evidence of commercialisation of religion within the religious sector which it seeks to eliminate.

"Mkhwebane initially denied the report's existence so she has lied"

"Mkhwebane initially denied the report's existence so she has lied"

Advocate Paul Hoffman says PP's response to Sarb issue is long overdue and calls for an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Cosmetic plastic surgery Apps encourages kids to fix themselves

Cosmetic plastic surgery Apps encourages kids to fix themselves

UK-based lobby group Endangered Bodies has collected 20 000 signatures to have these Apps controlled to protect children.

WATCH: String of break-ins at gov buildings raises questions, says Bongani

WATCH: String of break-ins at gov buildings raises questions, says Bongani

New Afternoon Drive host Bongani Bingwa kicks off the first show in his slot looking at burglaries and blazes at gov institutions.

WATCH: Random breath tests piloted on WC roads

WATCH: Random breath tests piloted on WC roads

The pilot project against drunk driving kicked off in the Overberg at the weekend and will be launched in Cape Town in two weeks.

There’s a patch of plastic twice the size of the USA in the Pacific

There’s a patch of plastic twice the size of the USA in the Pacific

"In the week it took to cross, no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere..."

New evidence comes to light in Ipid's probe against top cop

New evidence comes to light in Ipid's probe against top cop

Ipid has revealed that evidence against Khomotso Phahlane shows a dubious pattern in car purchases.

DEA to probe non recyclable plastic bag claims

DEA to probe non recyclable plastic bag claims

Department of Environmental Affairs says it will ensure standards are met to improve plastic bag recycling in SA.

Most supermarket plastic bags not recyclable

Most supermarket plastic bags not recyclable

South African Plastic Recycling Organisation says the use of fillers to make the bags cheaper sabotages recycling.

Retailers mark up plastic bag charges for consumers

Retailers mark up plastic bag charges for consumers

The official amount charged by government is 8 cents, however some retailers are charging up to 50 cents for a plastic bag.

Curbing plastic pollution by making it more difficult to buy plastic bags

Curbing plastic pollution by making it more difficult to buy plastic bags

Mark Gordon, Deputy Director-General for Chemicals and Waste Management in the Department of Environmental Affairs, describes how plastic pollution is being addressed in the country.

Popular articles
Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

The DA has suspended Patricia de Lille from party activities but Eusebius McKaiser says its statement 'is clear as mud'.

LISTEN: Father of drowned toddler speaks of dangers and heartbreak

LISTEN: Father of drowned toddler speaks of dangers and heartbreak

Connor Weber, fell unnoticed into a bin of water and drowned.

Fund manager lays criminal charges against former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste

Fund manager lays criminal charges against former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Benguela Global Fund Managers Chief Investment Officer Zwelakhe Mnguni.

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

Financial Mail editor Rob Rose chats to Eusebius McKaiser about how Steinhoff became the retail giant we know, before the fall.

Zuma order to pay costs of failed legal suit, a damning indictment: Law expert

Zuma order to pay costs of failed legal suit, a damning indictment: Law expert

Law professor at Wits says the President has now been warned to consider his options very careful when playing delaying tactics.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.