Virgin Megastore, the global lifestyle retail and entertainment destination, is replacing all its plastic shopping bags in the UAE with Bali-based social enterprise, AVANI’s Bio-Cassava bags.
These bags are 100% natural, biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, certified non-toxic, dissolve in water and proven to be harmless if consumed by animals. The new bags branded with the strap-lines ‘It’s only natural’ and ‘This bag is a hero’ will be rolled out this year across all Virgin Megastores in the UAE.
Commenting on the announcement, Vartivar Basmajian, head of franchise and brand of Virgin Megastore, says, “We are always striving to partake in activities where the focus is to help the planet, not to mention doing business for good. With the continuous efforts of our customers, we are able to achieve our goals and collaborate with esteemed partners like AVANI. We are looking at reducing single-use plastic, which is why we are introducing our new Virgin Megastore bags, first in the UAE, to provide our customers with a solution to support reducing our environmental footprint. AVANI’s Bio-Cassava bags provided us with a way to do this, while also allowed us to put our own Virgin Megastore stamp on the bags.”
AVANI’s Bio-Cassava bags have been developed through years of research and use ground-breaking technology, only using renewable resources made from plants to produce alternatives to single-use petroleum-based bags. These bags are certified to EU standards for compostability (EN13432) and have been granted Oral Toxicity test by WIL Research Netherlands. AVANI Middle East will open the first-ever production facility in the Middle East, this year in the UAE, to produce the Bio-Cassava bags that will have the capacity to make 1.2 million bags per month.
“Virgin Megastore’s switch to providing its customers with our bags is a milestone for AVANI in the Middle East and also marks our announcement to open the first-ever production facility in the Middle East. We founded AVANI in 2014 when I returned to Bali and wanted to find a way to reduce the plastic waste that was littering the beaches I had grown up on as a child. Today, we are continuing to expand our global footprint, here in the UAE, in providing solutions to businesses across the world that want to reduce single-use plastic waste,” adds Kevin Kumala, co-founder of AVANI.
“Virgin Megastore joins over 150 hospitality and retail businesses providing consumers with 100% sustainable and compostable alternative solutions to single-use plastic since we launched AVANI Middle East in the UAE in 2017. Our new production facility, located in Al Quoz, Dubai, will be approximately 3000 sqft and our aim is to be operational within the next six months starting with one production line which will be expanded as our business continues to grow in the UAE and GCC,” shares Peter Avram, director of AVANI Middle East.