A senior British rabbi has hailed an Israeli invention as being “of the utmost significance” after a firm said it had developed a plastic bag that degrades naturally in the compost.
Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, who has spearheaded the Eco-Synagogue initiative spreading across London shuls, was reacting to news this week at Israeli company TIPA had developed a 100 percent compostable packaging film.
TIPA marketing director Merav Koren said the film “looks like plastic and behaves like plastic but ends its life like an orange peel”.
Wittenberg said: “This is an invention of the utmost environmental significance. You can hardly walk a yard in town without seeing plastic bottles and bags, or salad and sandwich containers strewn across the pavement. Stopping choking the planet in plastics is an international priority.”
The huge plastic problem was brought emphatically to public consciousness earlier this year, with the BBC’s ocean documentary Blue Planet 2 highlighting its impact. In the Pacific Ocean, there is a giant area of floating plastic debris the size of France, and researchers say eight million metric tonnes of plastic enter the high seas every year.
The Israeli firm, based in Hod HaSharon, said every aspect of its product – from the film to the adhesive – is 100 percent compostable, disintegrating into water, carbon dioxide and organic matter which bacteria then degrades.
“Across the shuls of all denominations who have joined Eco-Synagogue the elimination of food waste and non-biodegradable plastics is a top point of action,” said Wittenberg.
“We are looking into printing or providing stock on labels for hemp bags, saying ‘I don’t buy my challah in plastic’. This should be the policy of all the kosher bakeries. All credit to this Israeli company!”