Isabel Braz and Miguel Henriques are the founders of bioethic, a company that produces 100% compostable and biodegradable products (alternatives to single-use plastic), using agricultural waste and always using environmental and social ethics as principles. The Circular Economy is always underlying the actions of its founders.
Curious? Do you need to use disposable material but don’t want to harm the environment? Know more
… took her to live for 6 years, in China and India, two of the most populous and also the most polluting countries in the world. The shock she had with the dimension of the problem of plastic pollution in these countries, was the reason that led to the creation of bioethic, in 2017, in order to create alternatives to the use of single-use plastics.
Although in Portugal there is already a growing awareness of this problem, there is still a lot of work to do in this regard.
Isabel and Miguel…
… are the “faces” of bioethic. Both work on the brand, always taking environmental and social ethics and the rules of the 3 R’s as principles (reduce, reuse, recycle). They intend to work together with the general public, companies, communities, municipalities and entities that “are willing to take the necessary steps towards a plastic-free economy".
“We believe that it is possible to slow down excessive consumption, and the massive disposal of non-biodegradable synthetic materials, and we work to reduce the dependence on derivatives of fossil materials, such as oil."
bioethic’s mission is to…
… make the common consumer aware of the importance of gradually replacing the use of disposable, non-recyclable, single-use plastics for quality, ecological and naturally produced alternatives that can be composted.
… products from agricultural waste, made with natural and renewable raw materials. The production process of the products is non-polluting. They are products entirely of vegetable origin, free of chemicals, biodegradable and compostable, which follow the life cycle on Earth, ending up as rich nutrients for the soil.
In more detail, the products that bioethic makes available to its customers are utensils for catering (glasses, plates, cutlery, food packaging, bags for organic waste).
It promotes awareness-raising actions related to the issue of plastic pollution, making known existing alternatives to plastic and providing consultancy services to companies and institutions that wish to adopt more “environmentally friendly” and economically sustainable practices.
Awareness of sustainable consumption in catering…
… is the focus of the brand. Food services are responsible for a great disposable plastic, so the replacement of these plastics by alternative and natural products, allows to respond to current needs, in a more sustainable way, without causing environmental damage or compromising natural resources, both in the present and in the future.
One of the most important raw materials used in the manufacture of bioethic products is agricultural bagasse – residual material resulting from the processing of fruits or vegetables – and is currently discarded or destroyed by the agricultural industry. The circular economy is a concern of bioethic, as it values agricultural waste, when using it as raw material for its products.
The main problem that bioethic faces is…
… the “competition” of plastic products with the same purpose, as they practice lower prices, which is impossible to practice in the case of companies of biodegradable or compostable products. ”It must be borne in mind that plastic continues to be manufactured to be sold at low prices, regardless of the consequences arising from their production, use and disposal. Consequences that end up having a much higher price! ”
Disposable plastic articles are taxed in the same way as biodegradable articles, with respect to import and sale taxes, which is not fair because in addition to being highly polluting articles, single-use plastics use non-renewable resources at lower costs.
“The oil industry’s lobbies are difficult to get around and fight, and governments around the world continue to give in to them. Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the top five global companies in the oil and natural gas sector have spent more than $1 billion to highlight their “concerns” about climate change, while continuing to put pressure on governments, banks and large corporations to protect their economic interests and expand their fossil fuel operations. ”
Therefore, Isabel wonders if “in the light of environmental reality at a global level, shouldn’t Ecological, Sustainable, Biological companies, etc., be the most benefited and supported?"
But despite these problems, bioethic continues to be strong and determined, with the help of its conscientious customers who make an economic effort to be able to purchase the products, resisting “the temptation” of the low price of plastic. It is for these people they are working for.
In order to make more people aware, they join other projects in the scope of sustainability and ecology, create partnerships, attend at events to publicize products, among other actions. The motto of bioethic is: Together we are stronger!
The market for this type of products is still very volatile,…
… and the pandemic did not help the business at all, and it can even be said that “it was a huge setback in the process of eradicating single-use plastic”. Biodegradable products can be as safe or more safe than plastics (they are natural products and the migration of toxic substances to food is not as pronounced).
There is an urgent need to publicize these alternative materials that are between the ideal of reuse and plastic, to apply tougher legislation in relation to single-use plastic, to create conditions in terms of the collection and treatment of organic waste and, of course , lower their production, import and VAT prices.
Biodegradable products have the purpose of being disposed of as organic waste to be composted. But in Portugal there are still few systems in place for the collection and treatment of organic waste, unlike what happens in many countries in Europe and Asia. Governments have bet on decreasing the amount of organic waste in landfills, and by putting an end to it, they are winning, and saving. Valuing waste is earning money and life, contrary to what is thought in Portugal. Interestingly, even China and India have been betting heavily on alternatives to single-use plastic
To make food systems more sustainable in the future,…
… bioethic insists that it is necessary to reinforce awareness campaigns with communities, schools, etc., and to draft more legislation at this level. Governments need to be more courageous and bet on what makes sense for the people and planet well-being. “To be sustainable is also to be able to be independent of many things that we really don’t need at all".
Get to know bioethic better in the: